Criminal Law - Privilege against Self-Incrimination - Handwriting Exemplars Excluded from the Scope of the Fifth Amendment Privilege - Gilbert v. California, 388 U.S. 263 (1967)
Gross, John J.
FIRST PARAGRAPH(S)|Petitioner, accused of the armed robbery of the Mutual Savings and Loan Association of Alhambra, California and of the murder of a police officer killed in the course of the robbery, was arrested in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was advised of his constitutional rights by an FBI agent. At first, petitioner specifically refused to answer questions about the Alhambra robbery-murder. Later, after interrogation (to which petitioner, who was without counsel, did not object) as to other bank robberies in the Philadelphia area where a demand note had been used, petitioner was required to give a handwriting exemplar. The handwriting exemplar was used in evidence in the Superior Court of California to convict petitioner of the Alhambra robbery-murder. On appeal, the Supreme Court of California affirmed the conviction on the basis that the exemplar was given voluntarily and that petitioner had waived any right not to give it. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on petitioner's claims that his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights had been violated by the taking of the exemplar.Held: Petitioner was not entitled to counsel at the taking of the exemplar, and the taking of the exemplar was not within the scope of the privilege against self-incrimination. The conviction was vacated and the case remanded on other grounds...
1 Creighton L. Rev. 120 (1968)
Creighton University School of Law