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William Malloy was arrested on September 11th, 1959 by the Hartford Connecticut police at 600 Asylum Street due to gambling raid. He was placed in jail for one year and was fined $500 because he pleaded guilty to a criminal offence, pool selling. However, 90 days after Malloy was sentenced to jail, he was placed on probation for two years. 16 months after his plead, the Superior Court appointed the referee to order Malloy to prove about gambling and other criminal activities in the Harford County.
On January 16th, 1961, the state attorney asked malloy several questions which he refused to answer since an answer would tend to incriminate him. Then on January 25th 1961, Malloy was recalled as a witness and again, being questioned. The questions which he refused to answer on that day was identical from those he had been asked on his first appearance before the referee. this led him to be placed in prison until he was willing to answer the questions.
Does the 14th Amendment protect a state witness’s 5th Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination in a criminal proceeding? The argument being made by the petitioner party was that the 5th amendment grants individuals the right to protect themselves from self incrimination. They have the right to be silent. The fourteenth amendment grants individuals the right to due process of the law and equal protection of the laws. The court agreed that they can’t force Malliy to testify about other gambling activities. The state attorney said out to malloy that the questions were about a matter on which he already convicted and there can be no incrimination. The referee felt that self-incrimination was not involved.The argument being made by the opposition party was that the U.S supreme court considered a previous case while deciding the results of the malloy case. ( twining v. new jersey ) which was decided in 1908. In that case, the court held that individuals have fundamental rights applying to the states under the 14th amendment, But the right against self-incrimination under the 5th amendment did not apply to the states at that time.
Malloy failed to explain how his answer would incriminate him. This negates his claim to protection of the privilege under the state law. 5 to 4 decision for Malloy. The court held that the 5th Amendment’s exemption self-incrimination is protected by the 14th Amendment against abridgement by a state. With considering that the US judicial system is accusatorial, the court ruled that the 14th Amendment secures the accused against self-incrimination. This meant that he has the right to stay silent unless he chooses to speak in the restricted exercise of his own will and shall not suffer any penalty. This case and its decision is significant because it determines what people in similar circumstances from malloy will be treated.
If an authority doesn’t tell people that they have the right to be silent, making them talk, they’re being a witness to themselves which is an illegal act. I agree that Malloy won the case. I agree because the 5th Amendment protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves. The freedom of Speech can also protect Malloy because it gives him the right to speak freely. The Freedom of Speech and the 5th Amendment would protect him from self-incrimination.
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