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TURNER V. LOUISIANA, 379 U. S. 466 (1965)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Turner v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 466 (1965)

Turner v. Louisiana

No. 53

Argued November 19, 1964

Decided January 18, 1965

379 U.S. 466


During petitioner's three-day murder trial, which resulted in his being found guilty and being sentenced to death, two deputy sheriffs who were the principal prosecution witnesses had custody of the jurors and, as a result, were in close and continuous association with them, freely mingling and conversing with them throughout the trial period. Though disapproving of the practice of officers who are witnesses having charge of the jury, the State Supreme Court found no prejudice to petitioner, and affirmed his conviction.

Held: the close and continuous association between key witnesses and the jury deprived the petitioner of the right to trial by an impartial jury which the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires. Pp. 379 U. S. 471-474.

244 La. 447, 152 So.2d 555, reversed and remanded.

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