Watts v. Indiana

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Watts v. Indiana
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Argued April 25, 1949
Decided June 27, 1949
Full case nameWatts v. Indiana
Citations 338 U.S. 49 ( more )
69 S. Ct. 1347; 93 L. Ed. 1801; 1949 U.S. LEXIS 2080
Court membership
Chief Justice
Fred M. Vinson
Associate Justices
Hugo Black  · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter  · William O. Douglas
Frank Murphy  · Robert H. Jackson
Wiley B. Rutledge  · Harold H. Burton
Case opinions
Majority Frankfurter, joined by Murphy, Rutledge
Concurrence Black
Concurrence Douglas
Concur/dissent Jackson
Dissent Vinson, Reed, Burton

Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49 (1949), was a United States Supreme Court case in which Justice Robert Jackson famously opined, "To bring in a lawyer means a real peril to solution of the crime because, under our adversary system, he deems that his sole duty is to protect his client—guilty or innocent—and that, in such a capacity, he owes no duty whatever to help society solve its crime problem. Under this conception of criminal procedure, any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances."

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions.

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Murder Unlawful killing of a human with malice aforethought

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse, especially the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. This state of mind may, depending upon the jurisdiction, distinguish murder from other forms of unlawful homicide, such as manslaughter. Manslaughter is a killing committed in the absence of malice, brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity. Involuntary manslaughter, where it is recognized, is a killing that lacks all but the most attenuated guilty intent, recklessness.

<i>United States Reports</i> official record of the rulings, orders, case tables, and other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States

The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, orders, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, and other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, and any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially. The Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing, binding, and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office.

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