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decided: June 10, 1974.



Rehnquist, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Burger, C. J., and Stewart, Blackmun, and Powell, JJ., joined. Stewart, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 453. Brennan, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Marshall, J., joined, post, p. 453. White, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, post, p. 460. Douglas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 461.

Author: Rehnquist

[ 417 U.S. Page 435]

 MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents the question whether the testimony of a witness in respondent's state court trial for rape must be excluded simply because police had learned the identity of the witness by questioning respondent at a time when he was in custody as a suspect, but had not been advised that counsel would be appointed for him if he was indigent. The questioning took place before this Court's decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), but respondent's trial, at which he was convicted, took place afterwards. Under the holding of Johnson v. New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719 (1966), therefore, Miranda is applicable to this case. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan reviewed respondent's claim on a petition for habeas corpus and held that the testimony must be excluded.*fn1 The Court of Appeals affirmed.*fn2


On the morning of April 19, 1966, a 43-year-old woman in Pontiac, Michigan, was found in her home by a friend and co-worker, Luther White, in serious condition. At the time she was found the woman was tied, gagged, and partially disrobed, and had been both raped and severely beaten. She was unable to tell White anything about her assault at that time and still remains unable to recollect what happened.

While White was attempting to get medical help for the victim and to call for the police, he observed a dog inside the house. This apparently attracted White's attention for he knew that the woman did not own a dog

[ 417 U.S. Page 436]

     herself. Later, when talking with police officers, White observed the dog a second time, and police followed the dog to respondent's house. Neighbors further connected the dog with respondent.

The police then arrested respondent and brought him to the police station for questioning. Prior to the actual interrogation the police asked respondent whether he knew for what crime he had been arrested, whether he wanted an attorney, and whether he understood his constitutional rights.*fn3 Respondent replied that he did understand the crime for which he was arrested, that he did not want an attorney, and that he understood his rights.*fn4 The police further advised him that any statements he might make could be used against him at a later date in court.*fn5 The police, however, did not advise respondent that he would be furnished counsel free of charge if he could not pay for such services himself.

The police then questioned respondent about his activities on the night of the rape and assault. Respondent replied that during the general time period at issue he had first been with one Robert Henderson and then later at home, alone, asleep. The police sought to confirm this story by contacting Henderson, but Henderson's story served to discredit rather than to bolster respondent's account. Henderson acknowledged that respondent had been with him on the night of the crime but said that he had left at a relatively early time. Furthermore, Henderson told police that he saw respondent the following day and asked him at that time about scratches on his face -- "asked him if he got hold of a wild one or something."*fn6 Respondent answered: "Something like

[ 417 U.S. Page 437]

     that."*fn7 Then, Henderson said, he asked respondent "who it was,"*fn8 and respondent said: "Some woman lived the next block over,"*fn9 adding: "She is a widow woman" or words to that effect.*fn10

These events all occurred prior to the date on which this Court handed down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, supra, but respondent's trial occurred afterwards. Prior to trial respondent's appointed counsel made a motion to exclude Henderson's expected testimony because respondent had revealed Henderson's identity without having received full Miranda warnings. Although respondent's own statements taken during interrogation were excluded, the trial judge denied the motion to exclude Henderson's testimony. Henderson therefore testified at trial, and respondent was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20 to 40 years' imprisonment. His conviction was affirmed by both the Michigan Court of Appeals*fn11 and the Michigan Supreme Court.*fn12

Respondent then sought habeas corpus relief in Federal District Court. That court, noting that respondent had not received the full Miranda warnings and that the police had stipulated Henderson's identity was learned only through respondent's answers, "reluctantly" concluded that Henderson's testimony could not be admitted.*fn13 Application of such an exclusionary rule was necessary, the court reasoned, to protect respondent's Fifth Amendment right against compulsory self-incrimination. The court therefore granted respondent's petition for a writ of habeas corpus unless petitioner

[ 417 U.S. Page 438]

     retried respondent within 90 days. The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. We granted certiorari, 414 U.S. 1062 (1973), and now reverse.


Although respondent's sole complaint is that the police failed to advise him that he would be given free counsel if unable to afford counsel himself, he did not, and does not now, base his arguments for relief on a right to counsel under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. Nor was the right to counsel, as such, considered to be persuasive by either federal court below. We do not have a situation such as that presented in Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478 (1964), where the policemen interrogating the suspect had refused his repeated requests to see his lawyer who was then present at the police station. As we have noted previously, Escobedo is not to be broadly extended beyond the facts of that particular case. See Johnson v. New Jersey, 384 U.S., at 733-734; Kirby v. Illinois, 406 U.S. 682, 689 (1972); Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731, 739 (1969). This case also falls outside the rationale of United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218, 224 (1967), where the Court held that counsel was needed at a post-indictment lineup in order to protect the "right to a fair trial at which the witnesses against [the defendant] might be meaningfully cross-examined." Henderson was fully available for searching cross-examination at respondent's trial.

Respondent's argument, and the opinions of the District Court and Court of Appeals, instead rely upon the Fifth Amendment right against compulsory self-incrimination and the safeguards designed in Miranda to secure that right. In brief, the position urged upon this Court is that proper regard for the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination requires, with limited exceptions not

[ 417 U.S. Page 439]

     applicable here, that all evidence derived solely from statements made without full Miranda warnings be excluded at a subsequent criminal trial. For purposes of analysis in this case we believe that the question thus presented is best examined in two separate parts. We will therefore first consider whether the police conduct complained of directly infringed upon respondent's right against compulsory self-incrimination or whether it instead violated only the prophylactic rules developed to protect that right. We will then consider whether the evidence derived from this interrogation must be excluded.


The history of the Fifth Amendment right against compulsory self-incrimination, and the evils against which it was directed, have received considerable attention in the opinions of this Court. See, e. g., Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441 (1972); Miranda v. Arizona, supra; Murphy v. Waterfront Comm'n, 378 U.S. 52 (1964); Ullmann v. United States, 350 U.S. 422, 426 (1956); Counselman v. Hitchcock, 142 U.S. 547 (1892). At this point in our history virtually every schoolboy is familiar with the concept, if not the language, of the provision that reads: "No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself . . . ." This Court's decisions have referred to the right as "the mainstay of our adversary system of criminal justice," Johnson v. New Jersey, supra, at 729, and as "'one of the great landmarks in man's struggle to make himself civilized.'" Ullmann, supra, at 426. It is not surprising that the constitution of virtually every State has a comparable provision. 8 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 2252 (McNaughton rev. 1961) (hereinafter Wigmore).

The importance of a right does not, by itself, determine its scope, and therefore we must continue to hark back

[ 417 U.S. Page 440]

     to the historical origins of the privilege, particularly the evils at which it was to strike. The privilege against compulsory self-incrimination was developed by painful opposition to a course of ecclesiastical inquisitions and Star Chamber proceedings occurring several centuries ago. See L. Levy, Origins of the Fifth Amendment (1968); Morgan, The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 34 Minn. L. Rev. 1 (1949); 8 Wigmore § 2250. Certainly anyone who reads accounts of those investigations, which placed a premium on compelling subjects of the investigation to admit guilt from their own lips, cannot help but be sensitive to the Framers' desire to protect citizens against such compulsion. As this Court has noted, the privilege against self-incrimination "was aimed at a . . . far-reaching evil -- a recurrence of the Inquisition and the Star Chamber, even if not in their stark brutality." Ullmann, supra, at 428.

Where there has been genuine compulsion of testimony, the right has been given broad scope. Although the constitutional language in which the privilege is cast might be construed to apply only to situations in which the prosecution seeks to call a defendant to testify against himself at his criminal trial, its application has not been so limited. The right has been held applicable to proceedings before a grand jury, Counselman v. Hitchcock, supra ; to civil proceedings, McCarthy v. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34 (1924); to congressional investigations, Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178 (1957); to juvenile proceedings, In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967); and to other statutory inquiries, Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1 (1964). The privilege has also been applied against the States by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. Ibid.

The natural concern which underlies many of these decisions is that an inability to protect the right at

[ 417 U.S. Page 441]

     one stage of a proceeding may make its invocation useless at a later stage. For example, a defendant's right not to be compelled to testify against himself at his own trial might be practically nullified if the prosecution could previously have required him to give evidence against himself before a grand jury. Testimony obtained in civil suits, or before administrative or legislative committees, could also prove so incriminating that a person compelled to give such testimony might readily be convicted on the basis of those disclosures in a subsequent criminal proceeding.*fn14

In more recent years this concern -- that compelled disclosures might be used against a person at a later criminal trial -- has been extended to cases involving police interrogation. Before Miranda the principal issue in these cases was not whether a defendant had waived his privilege against compulsory self-incrimination but simply whether his statement was "voluntary." In state cases the Court applied the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, examining the circumstances of interrogation to determine whether the processes were so unfair or unreasonable as to render a subsequent confession involuntary. See, e. g., Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278 (1936); Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227 (1940); White v. Texas, 310 U.S. 530 (1940); Payne v. Arkansas, 356 U.S. 560 (1958); Haynes v. Washington, 373 U.S. 503 (1963). See also 3 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 815 et seq. (Chadbourne rev. 1970). Where the State's actions offended the standards of fundamental fairness under the Due Process Clause, the State was then deprived of the right to use the resulting confessions in court.

[ 417 U.S. Page 442]

     Although federal cases concerning voluntary confessions often contained references to the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination,*fn15 references which were strongly criticized by some commentators, see 8 Wigmore § 2266,*fn16 it was not until this Court's decision in Miranda that the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination was seen as the principal protection for a person facing police interrogation. This privilege had been made applicable to the States in Malloy v. Hogan, supra, and was thought to offer a more comprehensive and

[ 417 U.S. Page 443]

     less subjective protection than the doctrine of previous cases. In Miranda the Court examined the facts of four separate cases and stated:

"In these cases, we might not find the defendants' statements to have been involuntary in traditional terms. Our concern for adequate safeguards to protect precious Fifth Amendment rights is, of course, not lessened in the slightest . . . . To be sure, the records do not evince overt physical coercion or patent psychological ploys. The fact remains that in none of these cases did the officers undertake to afford appropriate safeguards at the outset of the interrogation to insure that the statements were truly the product of free choice." 384 U.S., at 457.

Thus the Court in Miranda, for the first time, expressly declared that the Self-Incrimination Clause was applicable to state interrogations at a police station, and that a defendant's statements might be excluded at trial despite their voluntary character under traditional principles.

To supplement this new doctrine, and to help police officers conduct interrogations without facing a continued risk that valuable evidence would be lost, the Court in Miranda established a set of specific protective guidelines, now commonly known as the Miranda rules. The Court declared that "the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination." Id., at 444. A series of recommended "procedural safeguards" then followed. The Court in particular stated:

"Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he ...

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