Mallory v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Washington Asylum and Jail

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 354 US 449 (1957)
ARGUED: Apr 01, 1957
DECIDED: Jun 24, 1957

Facts of the case

Andrew Mallory was arrested by federal officers on charges of rape. Upon arresting Mallory, the officers questioned him until he confessed roughly seven hours later. After the confession, the police officers sought to reach a United States Commissioner for the purpose of arraigning Mallory.


Did the questioning of Mallory prior to his appearance before a commissioner violate Due Process and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure?

Media for Mallory v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 01, 1957 (Part 2) in Mallory v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 01, 1957 (Part 1) in Mallory v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 521, Andrew R.Mallory versus United States of America.

Mr. Bryant.

William B. Bryant:

Mr. Chief Justice, Associate Justices, may it please the Court.

The case for the Court, Andrew Mallory versus United States, we believe presents three important questions.

The first, whether or not the lower courts in the District of Columbia Circuit properly adhered to the pronouncements of this Court in McNabb versus United States and reiterated in Upshaw versus United States relative to alleged confessions of the petition.

Number two, I believe that the important question is whether or not the consent allegedly given to the police by the petitioner herein for the search of his home for certain items of clothing while he was arrested and then the police headquarters measured up to that standard of voluntariness which the federal jurisdiction has adopted for itself.

And thirdly, whether or not the trial court's comment in answer to a question by the jury after deliberating some four or four and a half hours about the fate of the petitioner in the event that the jury did not impose a death penalty, was proper under the circumstances.

Now, the factual picture which -- out of which these questions arises is briefly as follows.

On April 7th, 1954, a woman was allegedly raped in the 1200 Block of 12th Street Northwest in the District of Columbia in the basement of an apartment house in which she lived.

The next day, at about 2:30, the petitioner was arrested in the Northeast section of Washington D.C. and taken to police headquarters at 13 Indiana Avenue, Northwest.

Immediately upon his arrival at the police headquarters, he was interrogated in the so-called identification room at the police headquarters.

The arrival was pitched at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Here, the petitioner was questioned by at least seven or eight officers of the Sex Squad between 3 o'clock and shortly after 4:00 that he -- and then some times between 4:00 and 5:00 during that questioning, the petitioner denied any implication in the crime.

Some times between 4 and 5 o'clock, the police inquired of the petitioner and his two nephews, the children of his half brother who was a janitor of the apartment which the alleged crime occurred and who also in custody.

The police inquired as to whether or not they would take the lie detector test.

Petitioner is alleged to have agreed to take a lie detector test along with the other two suspects.

The man who was an expert at giving the examination was not immediately available and there was a waiting period of -- from about some time between 4 and 5 to about 7 o'clock.

The officer eventually arrived, and after exposing the other two men who were in custody to the lie detector apparatus and the testing that goes on with it, the petitioner was called into the room some 120 feet away from the room in which he had been all the time.

And there, in the lie detector room, which is a small room about the size enough to accommodate the machinery and the examiner and the -- and the subject, he was given the so-called “lie detector test.”

His questioning immediately before -- questioning during the -- during the examination at which time he was attached to the machinery by various wires and hoses and other attachments.

After the examination on the machine, he was subjected to still more questioning and some time between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m., according to the examining officer, he made certain oral admissions which implicated him in the crime.

Thereupon, the examining officer called the two officers of the Sex Squad who were in charge of the case so to speak and indicated to those officers that the petitioner wanted to make a statement to them.

At that time, the oral admission originally made to the examiner, speaking of the lie detector machine technician, were allegedly repeated to officers (Inaudible) I believe.

After the admissions were made, one officer to another said, “Try to get a hold of the Commissioner" having reference to the United States Commissioner and then for the District of Columbia.

A call was put through to the commissioner at his home and he was at that time unavailable, that was sometimes after 10 o'clock p.m., the first mention of the commission.

Thereupon, the petitioner set out under police supervision a written statement embodying what's he had said to the officers are.

And immediately following the written statement, there was also a written consent to the officers to go to the premises and search certain areas and take from that area items or clothing.

The confessions are -- unwritten were introduced an evidence over objection.

The items of clothing which had been procured as the result of the so-called “consent to search” and which had been subjected to certain analysis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and which should be -- reveal certain culminating characteristics were introduced to the evidence.

The jury was instructed, when he took the case, in the usual fashion except that when it got down to the point of the verdicts by virtue of the peculiar characteristic of the District of Columbia statute which allows the jury to add to the verdict of guilty if they so find the defendant who's charged with rape, guilty.