Constitutional Law – Due Process – Use of Habeas Corpus to Allow Federal Court to Review State Court Jury Determination of Voluntariness of Confession

The prisoner had been convicted of murder in the state court. He brought a habeas corpus proceeding in federal district court to secure his release from custody on the ground that the conviction was based on a confession which was obtained by physical violence. The confession had been submitted to the jury, which was instructed to consider it only if it found that it was not obtained by duress or fear produced by threats. The district court granted the writ of habeas corpus. On appeal, held, affirmed. The district court could determine the facts of the case for itself. Since there was sufficient evidence to support the district court’s finding that the confession was coerced, the writ was required to issue notwithstanding the possibility that the jury had rejected the confession and convicted on other evidence. Cranor v. Gonzales, (9th Cir. 1955) 226 F. (2d) 83, ,cert. den. 350 U.S. 935, 76 S.Ct. 307 (1956).