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JOHNSON V. UNITED STATES, 318 U. S. 189 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Johnson v. United States, 318 U.S. 189 (1943)

Johnson v. United States

No. 273

Argued January 15, 1943

Decided February 15, 1943

318 U.S. 189


1. Where a defendant in a criminal prosecution in a federal court voluntarily testifies, and upon cross-examination asserts a claim of privilege against self-incrimination which the court unqualifiedly grants, albeit mistakenly, it is error for the court thereafter to permit the prosecutor to comment upon the claim of privilege and to permit the jury to draw any inference therefrom if, as here, it can be said that the defendant's choice of claiming or waiving the privilege would have been materially affected had he known that the claim, though granted, would be used to his prejudice. P. 318 U. S. 196.

2. Objection to the prosecutor's comment on an allowed claim of privilege in this case was expressly waived by the defendant's withdrawing his exception to it and acquiescing in the court's treatment of the matter, and a new trial is not granted. P. 318 U. S. 199.

3. Rulings of the trial court excluding the defendant from the court room while counsel were arguing the question of the propriety of a line of cross-examination, and requiring that he resume the stand without conferring with his counsel concerning a claim of privilege, to which rulings no exceptions were taken, and which did not result chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 318 U. S. 190

in a loss of the privilege, held, even if assumed to be erroneous, not prejudicial. P. 318 U. S. 201.

129 F.2d 954 affirmed.

Certiorari, 317 U.S. 610, to review the affirmance of a conviction of willfully attempting to defeat and evade federal income taxes.

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