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Law School Case Brief

Kastigar v. United States - 406 U.S. 441, 92 S. Ct. 1653 (1972)

Rule:

The explicit proscription in 18 U.S.C.S. § 6002 of the use in any criminal case of testimony or other information compelled under an order to compel testimony (or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information) is consonant with Fifth Amendment standards. Such immunity from use and derivative use is coextensive with the scope of the privilege against self-incrimination, and therefore is sufficient to compel testimony over a claim of the privilege.

Facts:

The petitioners were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury to answer its questions under a grant of immunity. The petitioners refused to answer questions, asserting their privilege against compulsory self-incrimination, despite a grant of immunity proffered by respondent United States. The district court held that the petitioners could be compelled to testify. The decision was affirmed on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Issue:

Could the federal government compel the petitioners to testify despite their invocation of the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court of the United States held that the respondent could compel testimony by the petitioners despite the fact that they had invoked their privilege against compulsory self-incrimination, by conferring on them immunity from use of compelled testimony. Immunity from use and derivative use was coextensive with the scope of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination, and therefore, despite the lack of a grant of transactional immunity, was sufficient to compel testimony over a claim of the privilege. Transactional immunity would have afforded broader protection than the Fifth Amendment privilege, and was not constitutionally required. The immunity provided by the respondent left the petitioners and the prosecutorial authorities in substantially the same position as if they had claimed the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination.

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