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Abstract

Defendant was convicted of murder. Before the victim died, defendant, handcuffed and in custody of police, had been taken to the hospital room where the victim lay. Eight witnesses were present at the time, and each testified that the victim pointed out the defendant as her assailant. At the trial the witnesses were permitted to testify that when accused of the crime, defendant stood by silently, saying and doing nothing, although it also appeared that he had been told by the police chief to ''keep your mouth shut." The prosecution capitalized upon defendant's silence as an admission of guilt. On appeal, held, reversed. Defendant, while under arrest, had no duty to speak or to deny the accusation, and his silence could not be construed as an admission. People v. Mleczko, 298 N.Y. 153, 81 N.E. (2d) 65 (1948).

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