Rochin v. California

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8/30/11 Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165 (1952) Facts: On the morning of July 1, 1949, three deputy sheriffs of the county of Los Angeles received “some information that Rochin was selling narcotics.” With this information the three deputies went to the home of Rochin and found the outside door open. They entered and then forced open the door to Rochin’s room. Inside the room they found Rochin sitting on the side of the bed. The deputies saw two capsules on a night stand and asked Rochin, “Whose stuff is this?” Rochin then grabbed the capsules and put them in his mouth. A struggle ensued as the deputies attempted to extract the capsules from Rochin’s mouth. The deputies were unable to extract the capsules from Rochin’s mouth. Rochin was handcuffed and taken to a hospital where one of the officers ordered a doctor to force an emetic solution through a tube into Rochin’s stomach against his will. Rochin then vomited and two capsules were found in the vomit which proved to contain morphine. Question of Law: Do the limitations which the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment impose on the conduct of criminal proceedings by the States? Holding: “The Due Process Clause empowers this Court to nullify any state law if its application ‘shocks the conscience,’ offends ‘a sense of justice’ or runs counter to the ‘decencies of conduct.’ ” Reasoning: “The Due Process Clause places upon this Court the duty of exercising a judgment upon interests of society pushing in opposite directions. In each case ‘due process of law’ requires an evaluation based on detached claims, on a judgment duly mindful of reconciling the needs both of continuity and of change in a progressive society” Concurring Opinion: Justice Black agreed with the majority but believed that the issue of graver concern is that there is a philosophy of natural law that

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