Twining v. New Jersey
211 U.S. 78 (1908)

  • Twining and another guy were on trial for fraud. They declined to testify in their defense.
  • The judge instructed the jury that they could infer guilt because of the refusal to testify.
  • The Trial Court found Twining guilty of fraud. He appealed.
    • Twining argued that the 5th Amendment granted the privilege against compelled self-incrimination.
    • The prosecutor argued that the 5th Amendment only applied to Federal law, and Federal trials. Not a State trial such as this one.
  • The US Supreme Court upheld the conviction.
    • The US Supreme Court found that that the 14th Amendment did not incorporate the 5th Amendment into State law.
      • The Court based their decision on the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment.
        • The court cited the decision in the Slaughter-house cases (83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36 (1873)) that said the language in the 14th Amendment, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…”, did not curtail State power.
    • The Court noted that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment could theoretically be used to incorporate the Bill of Rights into State law, but only in cases where the right being infringed is “essential to a fundamental scheme of ordered liberty.”
      • In this case, they found that the right against self-incrimination was not essential.
  • This decision was later overturned on due process grounds in Malloy v. Hogan (378 U.S. 1 (1964)).