GALLEGOS V. COLORADO, 370 U. S. 49 (1962)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gallegos v. Colorado, 370 U.S. 49 (1962)

Gallegos v. Colorado

No. 475

Argued April 9, 1962

Decided June 4, 1962

370 U.S. 49


Petitioner, a 14-year-old boy, and another juvenile followed an elderly man to a hotel, got into his room on a ruse, assaulted and overpowered him, stole $13 from his pockets and fled. Picked up 12 days later by police, petitioner immediately admitted the assault and robbery. Over two weeks later, he was convicted in a juvenile court of "assault to injure," and was committed to the State Industrial School for an indeterminate period. Subsequently, the victim died, and petitioner was charged with first degree murder. At his trial in a state court, a jury found him guilty. The crucial evidence introduced at the trial was a formal confession which petitioner had signed before his victim died, before petitioner had been brought before a judge, and after he had been held for five days without seeing a lawyer, parent, or other friendly adult, although his mother had attempted to see him.

Held: on the totality of the circumstances in this case, the formal confession on which petitioner's conviction may have rested was obtained in violation of due process, and the judgment sustaining his conviction is reversed. Pp. 370 U. S. 49-55.

145 Colo. 53, 358 P.2d 1028, reversed.


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