LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois
DOCKET NO.: 73-1452
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Oregon Supreme Court
CITATION: 420 US 714 (1975)
ARGUED: Jan 21, 1975
DECIDED: Mar 19, 1975
Sam A. McKeen -
Thomas H. Denney -
Facts of the case
Hass was incriminated of the first-degree burglary of two bikes. He was arrested by the police; then he was acknowledged of his rights due to Miranda warning. Hass sat in a police car, where the officer began the investigation, in which he said that that he stole two bicycles, but then he returned one and left the second one in shrubs. After he asked to call his attorney. The district court evaluated his statements as justifiable, and the jury considered his guilt. The judgment imposed two-year probation and a fine.
The plaintiff brought a suit to the appellate court that considered his testimonies could not be applied in the proceeding, because of the improper its receiving. The judges asked the officer to testify regarding defendant`s evidence because he stated different explanations of his actions at the hearing.
The judgment found that the Officer`s testimony on proceeding could not be applied because of breach of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendment.
The case brief reflected that the Supreme Court ordered to overturn the Oregon v Hass because of the state trial conflict, with the purpose to distinguish the issue.
The judgment confirmed that the cancellation of the previous decision and reversed it because of its opinion regarding the inappropriate officer`s witnesses and the violation of the infringement defendant`s rights.
The case study underlined that the judges cited to Harris v. New York, and affirmed the opinion in Oregon v. Hass that under the protection under Miranda was not aimed to grant an opportunity to give testimony inconsistently or even deceptively or to deprive of the possibilities of contradiction with prior inappropriate assertions.
Media for Oregon v. HassAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 21, 1975 in Oregon v. Hass
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 19, 1975 in Oregon v. Hass
Harry A. Blackmun:
The other case, Oregon against Hass comes to us from the Supreme Court of Oregon.
It presents a variation of a fact situation encountered by the Court in the case of Harris against New York decided here four years ago.
Mr. Hass, as a suspect, was in the custody of a state police officer.
He had been given full Miranda warnings and then a little later he told the state officer that he would like to telephone a lawyer.
The reply was that this could not be done until the officer and Mr. Hass reached the station.
Mr. Hass then provided inculpatory information.
And our issue here is whether after Mr. Hass took the stand and testified in a manner contrary to that inculpatory information it may be testified to by the state officer in rebuttal solely for impeachment purposes or whether on the other hand it is inadmissible under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
In the Harris case, the situation was identical except that the Miranda warnings were defective.
In here, they were not defective.
The state trial court ruled that the Harris decision controlled and that the testimony of the state officer was admissible for impeachment.
The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed feeling that an Oregon case decided before the Harris decision here was controlling.
The Supreme Court of Oregon affirmed by a sharply divided four-to-three vote.
And it did show, we hold and solely on federal constitutional grounds.
In an opinion filed today, we reverse the Supreme Court of Oregon and hold that this case despite its slight factual differences is controlled by our decision in Harris against New York.
And I'm authorized to say that Mr. Justice Brennan has filed a dissenting opinion and is joined therein by Mr. Justice Marshall.
Mr. Justice Marshall has also filed a separate dissenting opinion and is joined in that opinion by Mr. Justice Brennan.
Mr. Justice Douglas took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you Mr. Justice Blackmun.