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WALDER v. UNITED STATES

decided: February 1, 1954.

WALDER
v.
UNITED STATES



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT.

Warren, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Jackson, Burton, Clark, Minton

Author: Frankfurter

[ 347 U.S. Page 62]

 MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER delivered the opinion of the Court.

In May 1950, petitioner was indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri for purchasing and possessing one grain of heroin. Claiming that the heroin capsule had been obtained through an unlawful search and seizure, petitioner moved

[ 347 U.S. Page 63]

     to suppress it. The motion was granted, and shortly thereafter, on the Government's motion, the case against petitioner was dismissed.

In January of 1952, petitioner was again indicted, this time for four other illicit transactions in narcotics. The Government's case consisted principally of the testimony of two drug addicts who claimed to have procured the illicit stuff from petitioner under the direction of federal agents. The only witness for the defense was the defendant himself, petitioner here. He denied any narcotics dealings with the two Government informers and attributed the testimony against him to personal hostility.

Early on his direct examination petitioner testified as follows:

"Q. Now, first, Mr. Walder, before we go further in your testimony, I want to you [ sic ] tell the Court and jury whether, not referring to these informers in this case, but whether you have ever sold any narcotics to anyone.

"A. I have never sold any narcotics to anyone in my life.

"Q. Have you ever had any narcotics in your possession, other than what may have been given to you by a physician for an ailment?

"A. No.

"Q. Now, I will ask you one more thing. Have you ever handed or given any narcotics to anyone as a gift or in any other manner without the receipt ...


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