Jenkins v. Delaware

LOCATION: Souther District Court of Georgia

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1969)

CITATION: 395 US 213 (1969)
ARGUED: Mar 05, 1969
DECIDED: Jun 02, 1969

Facts of the case


Media for Jenkins v. Delaware

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 05, 1969 in Jenkins v. Delaware

Earl Warren:

-- 8 Thornton A. Jenkins petitioner versus Delaware.

Mr. Herndon, you may proceed with your argument.

Henry N. Herndon, Jr.:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This is a murder case in which the defendant's conviction of first degree murder was reversed by the Delaware Supreme Court for a trial de novo.

He was tried again after this Court's decision in Miranda and convicted of second degree murder.

The Delaware Supreme Court subsequently entered a judgment affirming that conviction, and this Court granted certiorari to review that judgment.

Two issues are raised in this proceeding.

First, are the standards of Miranda applicable to all trials including retrials commenced after the decision was announced?

Secondly, does the warrantless search of a suspects home based solely upon the consent of his co-occupant, violate the suspect's rights under the Fourth Amendment where he was physically present and immediately to give or withhold his consent, and where the purpose of the search was to obtain evidence not against his co-occupant, but against he suspect himself?

The facts are not in dispute.

Indeed, the statement of the case in the brief of the respondent is identical to that in the petitioner's brief.

The very and very summary form of the facts are these.

On the morning of March 17, 1965, officers of the Wilmington, Delaware Police Department were called to investigate in apparent homicide.

The victim was found in a junkyard.

Subsequent examination of the body by an assistant medical examiner disclosed that the victim had died sometime the prior evening.

The petitioner and a companion had been observed on the street in the vicinity of that junkyard on that prior evening.

They had been apprehended and taken to the police station where they were questioned by a Sergeant Maloney and subsequently released.

Sergeant Maloney's name will come again.

Between 9 and 10 o'clock on the morning of the March the 17th, that is the day after the initial apprehension.

Sergeant Maloney went with four other officers to the home of the petitioner.

His purpose was to see if the petitioner and his companion of the prior evening were there.

The petitioner's lady friend, Ms. Marshall, answered the door and Sergeant Maloney indeed asked if Thornton Jenkins, the petitioner was present.

The petitioner and his companion, his lady friend and three other persons, being all of those present in the house were apprehended at that time and taken to the detective division of the police station.

A bit of geography might be of assistance here.

It seems that all of the county and municipal functions in the New Castle, Delaware are taking care of in a single building called the Public Building, which has at one end the city functions and at the other end, its county functions.

The police station is located in the city end of that Public Building.

At the police station, the petitioner was placed in a so called recording room located in the detective division.

At 11 o'clock that morning, he was charged with night prowling.

At 11:40 that morning, Sergeant Maloney, according to his testimony, advised the petitioner's lady friend of and his words “her rights” and requested permission to search the house.

She told him that he could search the house, which he then did, discovering of junk and clothing which were seized and later introduced into evidence at the trial.