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Adamson v. California

332 U.S. 46 (1947)

tl;dr: Applies Cardozo’s Palko test and says the law against self-incrimination (5A) fails the incorporation test under the 14A

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The case of Adamson v. California questioned the constitutionality of a California law that allows the failure of a defendant to explain or deny evidence against them to be commented on and considered by the court and jury. The US Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause does not automatically protect the accused's freedom from giving testimony by compulsion in state trials. California law permits limited comment upon a defendant's failure to explain or deny evidence or facts in the case against him. The court ruled that it is not unfair to require a defendant to choose between leaving adverse evidence unexplained or subjecting themselves to impeachment through disclosure of former crimes. The introduction of evidence is admissible if it tends to identify the defendant as the perpetrator of the crime. The Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination only applies to the federal government, and the Fourteenth Amendment does not require such immunity in state criminal cases. The case was affirmed based on the authority of the well-considered Twining v. New Jersey case, which addressed a similar issue.

The dissenting opinion argues that the Fourteenth Amendment should protect citizens from state infringement of individual liberties in the Bill of Rights. The Court should apply the full protection of the Fifth Amendment to the states and abandon the "natural law" formula. The Twining decision consolidated the power of the Court to invalidate state and federal regulatory legislation and protect property rights over the rights of man. The Court has overturned the Twining decision, stating that coerced confessions violate the Constitution. The proposed amendment aims to ensure equal protection for all persons in all states regarding life, liberty, and property, regardless of race or color. The Civil Rights Bill aims to enforce civil rights protected by the Constitution and not subject to State control. The proposed amendment allows Congress to correct unjust legislation of the States and ensure that the law operates equally upon all individuals.

The proposed constitutional amendment aims to prevent states from violating the privileges and immunities of US citizens, including personal rights guaranteed by the first eight amendments. The 14th Amendment prohibits states from restricting certain rights and gives Congress the power to provide legal remedies against violations of citizens' rights by states. The Constitution safeguards the rights, privileges, and immunities of American citizens, including the right to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and press, the right to bear arms, and protection against unreasonable search and seizure. In this case, the defendant's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination was violated by California law, which allows the judge or prosecutor to comment on the defendant's failure to explain or deny evidence, compelling the defendant to be a witness against themselves. The judgment below should be reversed.

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IRACIssue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

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Facts & Holding

Facts:Adamson was on trial for first degree murder in CA...

Holding:Justice Reed assumed the comment would violate the 5th amendment’s...

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Adamson v. California

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