SCOTUS on Flight: Alberty v. United States

by Jamison Koehler on June 24, 2012

“[I]t is a matter of common knowledge that men who are entirely innocent do sometimes fly from the scene of a crime through fear of being apprehended as the guilty parties, or from an unwillingness to appear as witnesses. Nor is it true as an accepted axiom of criminal law that ‘the wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.’ Innocent men sometimes hesitate to confront a jury — not necessarily because they fear that the jury will not protect them, but because they do not wish their names to appear in connection with criminal acts, are humiliated at being obliged to incur the popular odium of an arrest and trial, or because they do not wish to be put to the annoyance or expense of defending themselves.”  Alberty v. United States, 162 U.S. 499, 511 (1896).

2 Comments on “SCOTUS on Flight: Alberty v. United States

  1. Except that most trial courts give the consciousness of guilt charge instead!

  2. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Notice that I had to go back to 1896 to find good language on flight. At some point I will get around to blog entry on Wardlow and Hodari D.

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