Constitutional Law – Privilege Against Self-Incrimination – Danger of Prosecution in Other Jurisdictions

Defendant, a witness called by the New Hampshire attorney general in an investigation of subversive activities, was granted statutory immunity in New Hampshire from criminal prosecution which might arise from his testimony and was ordered to testify. Since any disclosures would create serious danger of prosecution by the United States and Massachusetts, whose agencies were also investigating his activities, defendant refused to testify despite the grant of immunity, invoking the privilege against self-incrimination guaranteed by the state constitution. He was found guilty of contempt, subject to his exceptions regarding the constitutionality of the immunity statute. On hearing before the state supreme court, held, exceptions overruled, one justice dissenting. The constitutional privilege may be invoked only if there is danger of prosecution within the state. Since this danger is removed by the grant of immunity, the immunity statute, being as broad as the privilege, is constitutional. Wyman v. De Gregory, (N.H. 1957) 137 A. (2d) 512.