JAMES v. ILLINOIS

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
88-6075
Petitioner 
James
Respondent 
Illinois
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

James was a youth arrested for the murder of another adolescent. During his trial a witness testifying on his behalf described James's appearance on the night of the supposed crime. This description contradicted statements which James had made to police officers the day after the crime. To expose this perjured testimony, prosecutors moved to introduce James's statements into the trial even though they were obtained illegally.

Question 

Could James's statements be used against him even though they were obtained illegally?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for James, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision:

The Court held that the statements could not be used. Justice Brennan argued that prosecutors are allowed to introduce illegally obtained evidence when using it to impeach a defendant's own testimony. However, in this case, the Illinois Supreme Court wrongly expanded that practice making it applicable to all defense witnesses. Brennan concluded that this expansion "would frustrate rather than further the purposes underlying the exclusionary rule."

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JAMES v. ILLINOIS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 13 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1989/1989_88_6075>.
JAMES v. ILLINOIS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1989/1989_88_6075 (last visited November 13, 2014).
"JAMES v. ILLINOIS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 13, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1989/1989_88_6075.