Hyun v. Landon

RESPONDENT: Herman R. Landon, District Director, Immigration and Naturalization Service

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1955-1956)

ARGUED: Mar 05, 1956
DECIDED: Mar 26, 1956

Facts of the case


Media for Hyun v. Landon

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 05, 1956 (Part 1) in Hyun v. Landon

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 05, 1956 (Part 2) in Hyun v. Landon

Earl Warren:

Mr. Murrish, you may proceed.

William B. Murrish:

In -- in briefest statement, Your Honor, the position of the petitioner is that as a matter of due process derived not from deportation law because there is no deportation law on the point, but derived from three areas which we feel in principle are parallel and controlling.

Firstly, criminal law and due process criminal law, and secondly, insanity proceedings, and thirdly, asexualization operations.

We find in the law a requirement by due process that there be accorded in all these fields where liberty, body, or life is an issue, a quality of process different and distinct from the civil process which is sufficient to determine property causes between private individuals where the parties are relatively equal.

And that where in the law, liberty or life or body hangs in balance and the -- one of the parties is the Government with greatly superior resources and capacities that the public and the law, as well as the individual, requires that there be observed certain minimum basic fundamentals as a safeguard to ensure that the law shall not take life or liberty in error or carelessly but only as and where the law truly applied, specified.

And that of the minimums which due process requires to secure a fair trial, not merely fair to the defendant, but fair in the sense of ensuring a just and honest judgment among those minimums and indeed very basic.

One perhaps of the most fundamental is the minimum requirement that the judgment and trial be to the face of the person concerned and accused that he be present to be confronted by the Court, the witnesses, and the evidence.

This --

Hugo L. Black:

You can't -- you can't take deportation to the criminal case?

William B. Murrish:

You --

Hugo L. Black:

Unless the man is there.

William B. Murrish:

Unless the man is there except in situations of rare necessity not relevant here.

As for example, if the witness, having once been examined in a deposition where cross-examination was either had or -- or permitted as the -- the preliminary hearing --

Hugo L. Black:

But cross-examination wouldn't be enough of what you said (Voice Overlap) --

William B. Murrish:

Well, confrontation too, confrontation, where confrontation was possible like a preliminary hearing.

Then, if the witness dies or is too ill to be able actually come to trial or is too old or as a matter of fact, I think, the case most illustrating it and I don't, at the moment, recall and name it.

I think it was the Mott's case.

If the witness is beyond the process and jurisdiction of the trying body and cannot be possibly be brought where indeed the Government must choose between a trial with confrontation -- I mean between a trial without producing the witness and no trial at all because it is impossible to render it, then, in those rare situations, the law is compelled.

As a matter of fact, that is well-discussed in the basic cases which state that in criminal law, the purpose of requiring confrontation is the very opposite of the civil law permitting depositions and that the very biggest purpose was to exclude as a matter of due process from civil -- from criminal cases, the free use of depositions permitted and appropriate in civil cases.

And that the reason why is because the fundamental requirement of fairness of confrontation and presence, which is a little more than only confrontation, which should not be forgone if it may be possible to satisfy.

You don't --

Hugo L. Black:

Does this man have an opportunity to go to Hawaii?

William B. Murrish:

Well, at -- I'll be as honest as I can be.

At the time the proceedings were held in Hawaii, he was not even told that he physically could go to Hawaii and he was in jail.

Stanley Reed:

Before that, I understood that there was -- he make --

William B. Murrish:

Well, that was in a different proceeding, Your Honor.

That was not in this proceeding --

Stanley Reed:

Matter of deportation.

William B. Murrish:

-- and it is not before this Court.

It would -- there was an earlier deportation proceeding under the unamended 1917 Act.