Orozco v. Texas, No. 641

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBLACK
Citation22 L.Ed.2d 311,89 S.Ct. 1095,394 U.S. 324
PartiesReyes Arias OROZCO, Petitioner, v. TEXAS
Docket NumberNo. 641
Decision Date25 March 1969

394 U.S. 324
89 S.Ct. 1095
22 L.Ed.2d 311
Reyes Arias OROZCO, Petitioner,

v.

TEXAS.

No. 641.
Argued Feb. 26, 1969.
Decided March 25, 1969.

Charles W. Tessmer, Dallas, Tex., for petitioner.

Lonny F. Zwiener, Austin, Tex., for respondent.

Mr. Justice BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.

The petitioner, Reyes Arias Orozco, was convicted in the Criminal District Court of Dallas County, Texas, of murder without malice and was sentenced to serve in the state prison not less than two nor more than 10 years. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas affirmed the conviction, rejecting petitioner's contention that a material part of the evidence against him was obtained in violation of the provision of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, that: 'No per-

Page 325

son * * * shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.'1

The evidence introduced at trial showed that petitioner and the deceased had quarreled outside the El Farleto Cafe in Dallas shortly before midnight on the date of the shooting. The deceased had apparently spoken to petitioner's female companion inside the restaurant. In the heat of the quarrel outside, the deceased is said to have beaten petitioner about the face and called him 'Mexican Grease.' A shot was fired killing the deceased. Petitioner left the scene and returned to his boardinghouse to sleep. At about 4 a.m. four police officers arrived at petitioner's boardinghouse, were admitted by an unidentified woman, and were told that petitioner was asleep in the bedroom. All four officers entered the bedroom and began to question petitioner. From the moment he gave his name, according to the testimony of one of the officers, petitioner was not free to go where he pleased but was 'under arrest.' The officers asked him if he had been to the El Farleto restaurant that night and when he answered 'yes' he was asked if he owned a pistol. Petitioner admitted owning one. After being asked a second time where the pistol was located, he admitted that it was in the washing machine in a backroom of the boardinghouse. Ballistics tests indicated that the gun found in the washing machine was the gun that fired the fatal shot. At petitioner's trial, held after the effective date2 of this Court's decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 10 A.L.R.3d 974 (1966), the trial court allowed one of the officers,

Page 326

over the objection of petitioner's lawyer, 3 to relate the statements made by petitioner concerning the gun and petitioner's presence at the scene of the shooting. The trial testimony clearly shows that the officers questioned petitioner about incriminating facts without first informing him of his right to remain silent, his right to have the advice of a lawyer before making any statement, and his right to have a lawyer appointed to assist him if he could not afford to hire one. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held, with one judge dissenting, that the admission of testimony concerning the statements petitioner had made without the above warnings was not precluded by Miranda. We disagree and hold that the use of these admissions obtained in the absence of the required warnings was a flat violation of the Self-Incrimination Clause of the Fifth Amendment as construed in Miranda.

The State has argued here that since petitioner was interrogated on his own bed, in familiar surroundings, our Miranda holding should not apply. It is true that the Court did say in Miranda that 'compulsion to speak in the isolated setting of the police station may well be greater than in courts or other official investigations, where there are often impartial observers to guard against intimidation or trickery.' 384 U.S., at 461, 86 S.Ct., at 1621. But the opinion iterated and reiterated the absolute necessity for officers interrogating people 'in custody' to give the described warnings. See Mathis v. United States, 391 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1503, 20 L.Ed.2d 381

Page 327

(1968). According to the officer's testimony, petitioner was under arrest and not free to leave when he was questioned in his bedroom in the early hours of the morning. The Miranda opinion declared that the warnings were required when the person being interrogated was 'in custody at the station or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.' 384 U.S., at 477, 86 S.Ct., at 1629. (Emphasis supplied.) The decision of this Court in Miranda was reached after careful consideration and lengthy opinions were announced by both the majority and dissenting Justices. There is no need to canvass those arguments again. We do not, as the dissent implies, expand or extend to the slightest extent our Miranda decision. We do adhere to our well-considered holding in that case and therefore reverse4 the conviction below.

Reversed.

Mr. Justice FORTAS took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Mr. Justice HARLAN, concurring.

The passage of time has not made the Miranda case any more palatable to me than it was when the case was decided. See my dissenting opinion, and that of Mr. Justice White, in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 504, 526, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 10 A.L.R.3d 974 (1966).

Yet, despite my strong inclination to join in the dissent of my Brother WHITE, Ican find no acceptable avenue of escape from Miranda in judging this case, especially in light of Mathis v. United States, 391 U.S. 1, 88...

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581 practice notes
  • Maryland v. Shatzer, No. 08-680.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 5, 2009
    ...mere fact that a suspect consulted a lawyer does not itself reduce the compulsion when police reinterrogate him. 22 Cf. Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 326, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 22 L.Ed.2d 311 (1969) (holding that a suspect was in custody while being held in own home, despite his comfort and famil......
  • United States v. Thevis, Crim. No. H-78-73
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • March 30, 1979
    ...346, 96 S.Ct. 1612, 48 L.Ed.2d 1 (1976). Custody has always been defined in terms of the defendant's freedom to leave. Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 326-327, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 22 L.Ed.2d 311 (1969). Specifically the Court has held: "Police officers are not required to administer Miranda warni......
  • State v. Preece, No. 18564
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 14, 1989
    ...48 L.Ed.2d 1, 8 (1976); Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 240, 93 S.Ct. 2041, 2054, 36 L.Ed.2d 854, 870 (1973); Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 327, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 1097, 22 L.Ed.2d 311, 315 (1969); Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 304, 87 S.Ct. 408, 414-15, 17 L.Ed.2d 374, 383 Be......
  • Deborah C., In re, Cr. 21768
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 5, 1981
    ...application of Miranda. Courts recognize that nearly all police detention creates an atmosphere of compulsion. (Cf. Orozco v. Texas (1969) 394 U.S. 324, 326-327, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 1096-97, 22 L.Ed.2d 311; People v. Arnold, supra, 66 Cal.2d 438, 447-448, 58 Cal.Rptr. 115, 426 P.2d We think that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
582 cases
  • Maryland v. Shatzer, No. 08-680.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 5, 2009
    ...mere fact that a suspect consulted a lawyer does not itself reduce the compulsion when police reinterrogate him. 22 Cf. Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 326, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 22 L.Ed.2d 311 (1969) (holding that a suspect was in custody while being held in own home, despite his comfort and famil......
  • United States v. Thevis, Crim. No. H-78-73
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • March 30, 1979
    ...346, 96 S.Ct. 1612, 48 L.Ed.2d 1 (1976). Custody has always been defined in terms of the defendant's freedom to leave. Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 326-327, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 22 L.Ed.2d 311 (1969). Specifically the Court has held: "Police officers are not required to administer Miranda warni......
  • State v. Preece, No. 18564
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 14, 1989
    ...48 L.Ed.2d 1, 8 (1976); Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 240, 93 S.Ct. 2041, 2054, 36 L.Ed.2d 854, 870 (1973); Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 327, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 1097, 22 L.Ed.2d 311, 315 (1969); Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 304, 87 S.Ct. 408, 414-15, 17 L.Ed.2d 374, 383 Be......
  • Deborah C., In re, Cr. 21768
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 5, 1981
    ...application of Miranda. Courts recognize that nearly all police detention creates an atmosphere of compulsion. (Cf. Orozco v. Texas (1969) 394 U.S. 324, 326-327, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 1096-97, 22 L.Ed.2d 311; People v. Arnold, supra, 66 Cal.2d 438, 447-448, 58 Cal.Rptr. 115, 426 P.2d We think that......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The Supreme Court of the United States, 1968-1969
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 23-1, March 1970
    • March 1, 1970
    ...on his own bed, in familiar sur-roundings, the Miranda requirements should not apply. In an opinion by JusticeBlack (Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324; 89 S. Ct. 1095, vote: 6-2, White Stewart dissenting, Fortas abstaining) the Court disagreed, holding that the opinionin Miranda had &dquo;itera......

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