Mackey v. United States, 401 U.S. 667 (1971)

At petitioner's trial for income tax evasion, the Government used monthly wagering tax forms petitioner had filed, as required by statute, to show that the gross amount of wagers he reported, less business expenses, exceeded the gambling profits reported on his income tax returns. Petitioner objected on the ground that the forms were prejudicial and irrelevant, but he was convicted in 1964 and the Court of Appeals affirmed. After this Court's 1968 decisions in Marchetti v. United States, 390 U.S. 39, and Grosso v. United States, 390 U.S. 62, petitioner applied for postconviction relief on the ground that the Fifth Amendment barred the prosecution's use of the wagering tax forms. The District Court denied the application. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Marchetti and Grosso would not be applied retroactively to overturn the earlier income tax evasion conviction based on the then-applicable constitutional principles. Held: The judgment is affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE WHITE, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE, MR. JUSTICE STEWART, and MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, concluded that Marchetti and Grosso are not to be applied retroactively, since no threat to the reliability of the factfinding process was involved in the use of the wagering tax forms at petitioner's trial.

| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |