Alcorta v. State of Texas, No. 139

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation2 L.Ed.2d 9,355 U.S. 28,78 S.Ct. 103
Decision Date12 November 1957
Docket NumberNo. 139
Partiesalvaro ALCORTA, Petitioner, v. The STATE OF TEXAS

355 U.S. 28
78 S.Ct. 103
2 L.Ed.2d 9
alvaro ALCORTA, Petitioner,

v.

The STATE OF TEXAS.

No. 139.
Argued Oct. 23, 1957.
Decided Nov. 12, 1957.

Messrs. Fred A. Semaan and Raul Villarreal, San Antonio, Tex., for petitioner.

Messrs. Roy R. Barrera and Hubert W. Green, Jr., San Antonio, Tex., for respondent.

PER CURIAM.

Petitioner, Alvaro Alcorta, was indicted for murder in a Texas state court for stabbing his wife to death. Vernon's Tex.Pen.Code, 1948, Art. 1256. He admitted the killing but claimed it occurred in a fit of passion when

Page 29

he discovered his wife, whom he had already suspected of marital infidelity, kissing one Castilleja late at night in a parked car. Petitioner relied on Texas statutes which treat killing under the influence of a 'sudden passion arising from an adequate cause * * * as would commonly produce a degree of anger, rage, resentment, or terror in a person of ordinary temper sufficient to render the mind incapable of cool reflection' as murder without malice punishable by a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment. Vernon's Tex.Pen.Code, 1948, Arts. 1257a, 1257b, 1257c. The jury, however, found him guilty of murder with malice and, acting under broad statutory authority to determine the extent of punishment, sentenced him to death. The judgment and sentence were affirmed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. 165 Tex.Cr.R. —-, 294 S.W.2d 112.

Castilleja, the only eye witness to the killing, testified for the State at petitioner's trial. In response to inquiries by the prosecutor about his relationship with the petitioner's wife, Castilleja said that he had simply driven her home from work a couple of times, and in substance testified that his relationship with her had been nothing more than a casual friendship. He stated that he had given her a ride on the night she was killed and was parked in front of her home with his car lights out at two o'clock in the morning because of engine trouble. The prosecutor then asked what had transpired between Castilleja and petitioner's wife in the parked car:

'Q. Did you have a conversation with Herlinda? A. Yes; she opened the door. She was going to get off (sic) and, then, she told me to tell my sister to come and pick her up in the morning so she could go to church.

'Q. To tell your sister, Delfina Cabrera, to come pick her up in the morning so she could go to church? A. Yes.'

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At the conclusion of Castilleja's testimony the following colloquy took place between him and the prosecutor:

'Q. Natividad (Castilleja), were you in love with Herlinda? A. No.

'Q. Was she in love with you? A. No.

'Q. Had you ever talked about love? A. No.

'Q. Had you ever had any dates with her other than to take her home? A. No. Well, just when I...

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591 practice notes
  • Hunter v. Supreme Court of New Jersey, Civ. No. 96-848 (WGB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • August 27, 1996
    ...of the claim that gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it rests." Conley, 355 U.S. at 47, 78 S.Ct. at 103. The rule, however, does require that the pleader "state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Having accepted the facts in the plead......
  • Hays v. Farwell, No. 3:04-cv-0011-RLH-VPC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Nevada
    • March 22, 2007
    ...340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935); Pyle v. State, of Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942); see also Alcorta v. State of Texas, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 9 Prior to trial, on July 17, 1992, Karen went to the office of Child Protective Services Officer Sharen Adams and to......
  • Giles v. State of Maryland, No. 27
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 20, 1967
    ...294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791; Pyle v. State of Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214; Alcorta v. State of Texas, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 9; Napue v. People of State of Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217; Miller v. Pate, 386 U.S. 1, 87 S......
  • State v. Blanchard, No. 2631
    • United States
    • Superior Court of New Jersey
    • November 16, 1967
    ...148--149 (1921). Hence, post-conviction relief has been granted in cases involving known perjured testimony Alcorta v. State of Texas, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 9 (1957); Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 S.Ct. 791 (1935); suppression of evidence, People v. Carter......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
589 cases
  • Hunter v. Supreme Court of New Jersey, Civ. No. 96-848 (WGB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • August 27, 1996
    ...of the claim that gives the defendant fair notice of the plaintiff's claim and the grounds upon which it rests." Conley, 355 U.S. at 47, 78 S.Ct. at 103. The rule, however, does require that the pleader "state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Having accepted the facts in the plead......
  • Hays v. Farwell, No. 3:04-cv-0011-RLH-VPC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Nevada
    • March 22, 2007
    ...340, 79 L.Ed. 791 (1935); Pyle v. State, of Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214 (1942); see also Alcorta v. State of Texas, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 9 Prior to trial, on July 17, 1992, Karen went to the office of Child Protective Services Officer Sharen Adams and to......
  • Giles v. State of Maryland, No. 27
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • February 20, 1967
    ...294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 L.Ed. 791; Pyle v. State of Kansas, 317 U.S. 213, 63 S.Ct. 177, 87 L.Ed. 214; Alcorta v. State of Texas, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 9; Napue v. People of State of Illinois, 360 U.S. 264, 79 S.Ct. 1173, 3 L.Ed.2d 1217; Miller v. Pate, 386 U.S. 1, 87 S......
  • State v. Blanchard, No. 2631
    • United States
    • Superior Court of New Jersey
    • November 16, 1967
    ...148--149 (1921). Hence, post-conviction relief has been granted in cases involving known perjured testimony Alcorta v. State of Texas, 355 U.S. 28, 78 S.Ct. 103, 2 L.Ed.2d 9 (1957); Mooney v. Holohan, 294 U.S. 103, 55 S.Ct. 340, 79 S.Ct. 791 (1935); suppression of evidence, People v. Carter......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • Supreme Court Behavior and Civil Rights
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 13-2, June 1960
    • June 1, 1960
    ...Hoag v. New Jersey,356 U.S. 464 (1958); Thomas v. Arizona, 356 U.S. 390 (1958); Payne v. Arkansas, 356 U.S.560 (1958); Alcorta v. Texas, 355 U.S. 28 (1957); Moore v. Michigan, 355 U.S. 155 (1957); Yates v. U.S. (1), 355 U.S. 66 (1957); Yates v. U.S. (2), 356 U.S. 363 (1958); Brown v. U.S., ......
  • Violated Trust: Conceptualizing Prosecutorial Misconduct
    • United States
    • Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Nbr. 21-3, August 2005
    • August 1, 2005
    ...623-643.Albonetti, C. A. (1991). An integration of theories to explain judicial discretion.Social Problems,38(2), 247-266.Alcota v. Texas, 355 U.S. 28 (1957).Alschuler, A. W.(1968). The prosecutor’s role in plea bargaining. University of Chi-cago Law Review,36, 50-96.American Bar Associatio......

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