Today marks the 55th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case of Malloy v. Hogan. Malloy is a landmark case which incorporated the 5th amendment right against self-incrimination against the states, extending 5th amendment protections to state trials, and overturning the disastrous cases of Twining v. New Jersey and Adamson v. California.
The case behind Malloy was certainly not as grisly as its forbear Adamson, but is still an interesting story. In September 1959, Hartford Connecticut police arrested William Malloy during a raid on an illegal gambling parlor. Mr. Malloy was charged with a misdemeanor, convicted and sentenced to a year in jail and a $500 fine. His conviction was suspended after 90 days, and he was released on two years’ probation. Sixteen months into his probation in 1961, Mr. Malloy was called to testify in a state gambling inquiry in front of a grand jury. Mr. Malloy refused to testify in front of the commission for fear of incriminating himself.
The commission held Mr. Malloy in contempt of court and confined him until he would testify. Mr. Malloy applied for a writ of habius corpus from the Superior Court and had his confinement affirmed. Mr. Malloy then sought a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court and was granted cert in late 1963.
The Supreme Court heard arguments on March 5th, 1964. Mr. Malloy argued that his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination had been violated by the Connecticut grand jury which held him in criminal contempt for exercising his 5th amendment right. Mr. Malloy argued the court should overturn Twinning. The State argued that the Supreme Court should uphold Twinning.
The Supreme Court rendered its judgment on June 15th, 1964. In a 5 – 4 decision, the majority led by Justice William J. Brennan Jr. agreed with Mr. Malloy. The majority held that the 5th amendment right against self-incrimination should be incorporated against the states via the 14th amendment. Thus, the majority reasoned that Mr. Malloy’s 5th amendment right had been violated by holding him in contempt. The Court then reversed and remanded Mr. Malloy’s case with orders to release him.
With Mr. Malloy freed from jail, Americans across the nation were given a new constitutional protection in state courts. Malloy still stands for the simple proposition that you have the right to remain silent, and to avoid testifying in criminal proceedings. With Experienced Legal Representation, you can guarantee your right to remain silent and protection against self-incrimination is safeguarded.
Written by Hunter White
 Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1, 84 S. Ct. 1489 (1964)
 Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78, 29 S. Ct. 14 (1908)
 Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46, 67 S. Ct. 1672 (1947)