Nix V. Williams

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, Jury, Habeas corpus Pages: 3 (825 words) Published: October 21, 2012
Case Citation:Nix v. Williams - 467 U.S. 431 (1984)
Facts: In 1968, 10 year old Pamela Powers was abducted and murdered outside of the YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa. A young boy claimed to have seen Williams, outside the YMCA carrying a bundle wrapped in a blanket with two white legs hanging out. The following day Williams, car was spotted approximately 160 miles outside of Des Moines. Additionally, several of the young girls clothing items were found. ; Along with Williams and with the blanket as described by the witness. Based upon these findings, a warrant was issued for Williams’ arrest. While a search was under way, Williams surrendered to the Davenport police, and obtained counsel. Des Moines police advised Williams counsel that they would not question him while transporting him back to Des Moines. However during transport, one of the officers began a conversation with Williams, and urged him to tell them where the body was located, so she could have a “proper Christian burial.” Williams conceded, and directed them to the girl’s body, which was over two miles from the closest search team. Procedural History: Williams filed a motion to suppress the evidence of the body, because it was obtained as fruit of an unlawful interrogation. The court denied this motion, and Williams was subsequently convicted by a jury of first degree murder. The trial court denied the motion, and a jury convicted Williams of first-degree murder. Williams’s state appeal was affirmed by The Iowa Supreme Court. Williams then petitioned the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa for a writ of habeas corpus, and the court reversed the conviction. The court held that the evidence should have been suppressed. During Williams’ second trial, the prosecution did not offer evidence of the interrogation; however evidence was presented in regards to the condition of the victims body. The trial court allowed this evidence, and concluded that the prosecution had...
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