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Rochin v. California

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 342 U.S. 165, 72 S. Ct. 205, 96 L. Ed. 183 (1952)

Brief Fact Summary. The Appellant, Rochin (Appellant), alleged that the Due Process Clause had been violated when police forced him to vomit two capsules that he had swallowed.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The police cannot extract evidence from inside of a person’s body by force.

Facts. Three officers entered the Appellant’s home and saw two capsules on a nightstand. When they inquired as to who owned the capsules, the Appellant swallowed them. After an unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the capsules from Appellant’s mouth, the officers took the Appellant to a hospital. At the hospital, the Appellant’s stomach was pumped against his will to induce vomiting. Two capsules containing morphine were found within the vomited material.

Issue. Can the police forcibly extract evidence from a person’s stomach?

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