Procunier v. Atchley

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Court Documents
Concurring Opinion

United States Supreme Court

400 U.S. 446

Procunier  v.  Atchley

 Argued: Nov. 18, 1970. --- Decided: Jan 19, 1971

See 401 U.S. 966, 91 S.Ct. 966.


Respondent was convicted in 1959 of murdering his wife. A recorded statement, made in jail to an insurance agent in connection with discussion of a policy on the life of respondent's wife, was admitted into evidence at the trial. The California Supreme Court affirmed the conviction finding the statement voluntary. Respondent later sought federel habeas corpus relief, contending that the statement was involuntary. The District Court granted relief on the ground that the trial court had excluded relevant evidence on the issue of voluntariness and thus 'did not reliably determine whether (the) confession was voluntary or involuntary.' The Court of Appeals affirmed. Held: An applicant for federal habeas corpus relief is not entitled to a new hearing on the voluntariness of a statement introduced at his trial merely because he can point to shortcomings in the state court procedure used to decide the voluntariness issue, as he must also show (which respondent did not do in this case) that his version of the events, if true, would require the conclusion that the statement was involuntary. Pp. 451-454, 412 F.2d 230, reversed.

Robert R. Granucci, San Francisco, Cal., for petitioner.

Charles A. Legge, San Francisco, Cal., for respondent.

Mr. Justice STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court.


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).