396 U.S. 102 (1969), 86, Morales v. New York

Docket Nº:No. 86
Citation:396 U.S. 102, 90 S.Ct. 291, 24 L.Ed.2d 299
Party Name:Morales v. New York
Case Date:December 08, 1969
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 102

396 U.S. 102 (1969)

90 S.Ct. 291, 24 L.Ed.2d 299



New York

No. 86

United States Supreme Court

Dec. 8, 1969

Argued November 20, 1969



Petitioner went to his mother's place of business after his mother told him by telephone that the police wished to talk with him. He was apprehended and taken to a police station, where, within 15 minutes, he confessed to a murder by stabbing. He wrote and signed a statement and later repeated the substance of the statement in response to further police questioning. A separate hearing on the voluntariness of the confessions was held, and the trial judge found them voluntary and admitted them into evidence. Petitioner was convicted, and the conviction was affirmed by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court. In the New York Court of Appeals, petitioner for the first time raised a Fourth Amendment issue, claiming that there was no probable cause for his arrest and that the confessions, even if voluntary, were inadmissible fruits of the illegal detention. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the State could conduct brief custodial interrogation of

those persons reasonably suspected of possessing knowledge of the crime under investigation in circumstances involving crimes presenting a high degree of public concern affecting the public safety.


1. The determination that the confessions were voluntary is not disturbed, as the trial occurred prior to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, and the totality of the circumstances shows that the confessions were not coerced.

2. The question of the legality of custodial questioning on less than probable cause for a full-fledged arrest, which goes beyond Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, and Sibron v. New York, 392 U.S. 40, is not decided in view of the absence of a record which squarely and necessarily presents the issue and fully illuminates the factual context in which the question arises.

22 N.Y.2d 55, 238 N.E.2d 307, vacated and remanded.

Page 103

Per curiam opinion.


On October 4, 1964, a murder by stabbing took place in an elevator of an apartment building where petitioner Morales' mother lived and where Morales frequently visited. On October 13, his mother informed Morales by telephone that the police wished to talk with him; petitioner said that...

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