Hurtado v. California Case Brief

Facts of the case

The State of California tried and convicted Hurtado on an information for murder. An information is a written set of accusations made by a prosecutor. Hurtado maintained that California denied him an indictment by a grand jury. A grand jury indictment is based on majority vote of the grand jurors on presentation by the prosecutor.


The Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the decision of the lower courts, finding the substitution of an indictment by a grand jury by an information, which certified the probable guilt of Hurtado, combined with his right to the aid of counsel and to cross-examination of the witnesses, did not violate due process of law. According to the Court, the fact that the Fifth Amendment provided for indictment by grand jury did not mean that the states had to provide such a procedure in order to meet the minimum due process requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment .

  • Advocates: –
  • Petitioner: Hurtado
  • Respondent: California
  • DECIDED BY: Waite Court
  • Location: –
Citation: 110 US 516 (1884)
Argued: Jan 22, 1884
Decided: Mar 3, 1884
Hurtado v. California Case Brief