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Case Basics
Docket No. 
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Location: Apartment
Facts of the Case 

William Malloy was arrested during a gambling raid in 1959 by Hartford, Connecticut police. After pleading guilty to pool selling, a misdemeanor, he was sentenced to one year in jail and fined $500, but the sentence was suspended after 90 days and Malloy was placed on two years probation. Some 16 months following his plea, a Superior Court appointed referee ordered Malloy to testify about gambling and other criminal activities in Hartford County. When Malloy refused, "on grounds it may tend to incriminate [him]" he was imprisoned for contempt and held until willing to answer questions. Malloy filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his confinement. On appeal from the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors ruling, upholding an adverse Superior Court denial, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.


Does the Fourteenth Amendment protect a state witness's Fifth Amendment guarantee again self-incrimination in a criminal proceeding?

Decision: 5 votes for Malloy, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Self-Incrimination

Yes. In a 5-to-4 opinion, the Court held that the Fifth Amendment's exception from compulsory self-incrimination is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against abridgement by a state. When determining if state officers properly obtained a confession, one must focus on whether the statements were made freely and voluntarily without any direct or implied promised or improper influence. Noting that the American judicial system is accusatorial, not inquisitorial, the Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment secures defendants against self-incrimination and compels state and federal officials to establish guilt by evidence that is free and independent of a suspect's or witnesses' statements.

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MALLOY v. HOGAN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
MALLOY v. HOGAN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"MALLOY v. HOGAN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,