Rochin v. California

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Rochin v. California  (1952) 

Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165 (1952), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that added behavior that "shocks the conscience" into tests of what violates due process. This balancing test is often criticized as having subsequently been used in a particularly subjective manner.

Court Documents
Concurring Opinions

United States Supreme Court

342 U.S. 165

Rochin  v.  California

Certiorari to the Second District Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of California

No. 83  Argued: October 16, 1951 --- Decided: January 2, 1952

Having "some information" that petitioner was selling narcotics, three state officers entered his home and forced their way into the bedroom occupied by him and his wife. When asked about two capsules lying on a bedside table, petitioner put them in his mouth. After an unsuccessful struggle to extract them by force, the officers took petitioner to a hospital, where an emetic was forced into his stomach against his will. He vomited two capsules which were found to contain morphine. These were admitted in evidence over his objection and he was convicted in a state court of violating a state law forbidding possession of morphine. Held: The conviction is reversed, because it was obtained by methods violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 166-174.

101 Cal. App. 2d 140, 225 P.2d 1, reversed.

Dolly Lee Butler and A. L. Wirin argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioner.

Howard S. Goldin, Deputy Attorney General of California, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Edmund G. Brown, Attorney General, Clarence A. Linn, Assistant Attorney General, and Frank W. Richards, Deputy Attorney General.

Fred Okrand, A. L. Wirin, Edward J. Ennis, Morris L. Ernst, Osmond K. Fraenkel, Arthur Garfield Hays, Herbert M. Levy and Clore Warne filed a brief for the American Civil Liberties Union, as amicus curiae, urging reversal.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

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