SUPREME COURT: Freedom of the Stomach

On the morning of July 1, 1949, three men from the Los Angeles County sheriff's office broke into the home of Antonio Rochin, a 22-year-old truck driver whom they suspected of carrying narcotics. Before they could stop him, Rochin swallowed the only evidence against him—two morphine capsules. The deputies choked him and pummeled him, trying unsuccessfully to make him cough them up. Then they dragged him to a hospital, forced him on to an operating table, where a doctor "pumped" out his stomach to get the evidence. The judge gave him 60 days.

A smart lawyer named David Marcus for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!