Case opinion for US Supreme Court KASTIGAR v. UNITED STATES. Read the Court’s full decision on FindLaw. Kastigar cited his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in refusing to testify before a grand jury, even though prosecutors had. United States: The Immunity Standard Redefined,” The Catholic Lawyer: Vol. No. 4, Article The case to be discussed in this comment, Kastigar v. United.

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Katsigar basis of the Court’s decision was recognized in Ullmann v. Kastigar argued that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination prohibits the compulsion of testimony under a grant of use immunity but instead requires transactional immunity at the very least. The US Supreme Court found that a witness “who invokes the 5 th Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination” can be compelled to testify if given immunity “as such immunity from use and derivative use is coextensive with the scope of the privilege and is sufficient to compel testimony over a kastibar of privilege.

This argument presupposes that the statute’s prohibition Page U.

Hitchcock and hold that this attempt to dilute the Self-Incrimination Clause is unconstitutional. Prior to the scheduled appearances, the government applied to lastigar District Court for an order directing petitioners to answer questions and produce evidence before the grand jury under a grant of immunity conferred pursuant to 18 U.

They were adjudged in civil contempt, and that judgment was affirmed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Petitioners opposed issuance of the order, contending primarily that the scope of the immunity provided by the statute was not coextensive with the scope of the privilege against self-incrimination and so was not sufficient to supplant the privilege and compel their testimony. The exclusionary rule of evidence that applies in that situation has nothing whatever to do with this case.

The privilege assures that a citizen is not compelled to state himself by his own testimony.

They ask us to reconsider and overrule Brown v. Hitchcock, supra, at U. But Counselman, Page U. Murphy involved state witnesses, granted transactional immunity under state law, who refused to testify for fear of subsequent federal prosecution.

The references were in the context of ancillary points not essential to the decisions of the Court. The statute, like the Fifth Amendment, grants neither pardon nor amnesty. InCongress had substituted use for transactional immunity in the federal immunity statute.


The issue before the Court in Murphy was whether New Jersey and New York could compel the witnesses, whom these States had immunized from prosecution under their laws, to give testimony that might then be used to convict them of a federal crime. Supreme Court Kastigar v. Such testimony constitutes one of the Government’s primary sources of information. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed.

Since New Jersey and New York had not purported to confer immunity from federal prosecution, the Court was faced with the question what limitations the Fifth Amendment privilege imposed on the prosecutorial powers of the Federal Government, a nonimmunizing sovereign.

Applying this principle to the state immunity legislation before it, the Court held the constitutional rule to be that: Don’t have an account? No question arises of tracing the use or non-use of information gleaned from the witness’ compelled testimony.

United StatesU. More Like This Show all results sharing this subject: The United States can compel testimony from an unwilling witness who invokes the Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory self-incrimination by conferring immunity, as provided by 18 U. It usually operates to allow a citizen to remain silent when asked a question requiring an incriminatory answer.

The Commission’s recommendation was based in large part on a comprehensive study of immunity and the relevant decisions of this Court prepared for the Commission by Prof. New Developments and New Confusion, 10 St. The Court emphasized that this rule left the state witness and the Federal Government, against which the witness had immunity only from the use of the compelled testimony and evidence derived therefrom, “in substantially the same position as if the witness had claimed his privilege in the absence of a state grant of immunity.

The Fifth Amendment protects a person from being forced to give testimony that could be used against him or her in a subsequent criminal prosecution. New York, supra, at U.

Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441 (1972)

The ‘derivative use’ is important because if you admit that you did the crime then the police would be tempted to look extra hard to find independent evidence of your guilt. In a subsequent criminal prosecution, the prosecution has the burden of proving affirmatively that evidence proposed to be used is derived from a legitimate source, wholly independent of the compelled testimony. Sign in with your library card.


The sole question presented to a court is whether the subsequent prosecution is related to the substance of the compelled testimony. The statute is a product of careful study and consideration by the National Commission on Reform of Federal Criminal Laws, as well as by Congress.

Kastigar v. United States :: U.S. () :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

The immunity therefore is coextensive with the privilege and suffices to supplant it. Use immunity, the Court concluded, is compatible with the Fifth Amendment because it ensures that the compelled testimony cannot lead to prosecution. III Petitioners’ second contention is that the scope of immunity provided by the federal witness immunity statute, 18 U.

They were brought before the District Court, and each persisted in his refusal to answer the grand jury’s questions, notwithstanding the grant of immunity. Senator Cullom introduced the new bill on Jan. That margin can be provided only by immunity from prosecution for the offenses to which the testimony relates, i. Government acts in an ignoble way when it stoops to the end which we authorize today. In other words, petitioners assert that no immunity statute, however drawn, can afford a lawful basis for compelling incriminatory testimony.

For when illegal police conduct has occurred, the exclusion of evidence does not purport to purge the conduct of its unconstitutional character. The US Supreme Court affirmed.

Kastigar v. United States

The power of government to compel persons to testify statees court or before grand juries and other governmental agencies is firmly established in Anglo-American jurisprudence. As a result, use immunity removes the danger that testimony will be used against the witness and, thus, does not violate the privilege against self-incrimination.

The statute, a reenactment of the Immunity Act of[ Footnote 26 ] provided that no “evidence obtained from a party or witness by means of a judicial Page U. Justia Annotations is a forum for attorneys to summarize, comment on, and analyze case law published on our site. Indeed, their origins were in the context of such offenses, [ Footnote 14 ]. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit accordingly is.