The defendant was charged with first degree murder and appointed counsel at a preliminary hearing. Later that day, police read him his Miranda rights, and he agreed to accompany them to locate the murder weapon. During the trip, the defendant wrote an inculpatory apology letter to the victim’s widow. When he returned from the trip, the defendant met his court-appointed lawyer for the first time. The letter was admitted at trial over defense objection.
Whether police may initiate interrogation of a defendant once he has been appointed counsel at arraignment or a similar proceeding?Yes. Police may initiate interrogation of a defendant who has been appointed counsel unless he actually requests a lawyer or otherwise asserts his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
Yes. Police may initiate interrogation of a defendant who has been appointed counsel unless he actually requests a lawyer or otherwise asserts his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
The Court overturned its earlier decision in Michigan v. Jackson in which it held that if police initiate interrogation of a defendant after he has asserted his right to counsel at an arraignment or similar proceeding, any waiver of his right to counsel is invalid. The purpose of the rule was to prevent the police from badgering a defendant into changing his mind about his Sixth Amendment rights. A defendant who has simply been appointed an attorney and has never asked for counsel, however, has not necessarily made up his mind about his rights. The requirement that police advise a defendant of his Miranda rights prior to custodial interrogation and obtain a valid waiver is sufficient protection against such badgering.
556 U.S. 778, 129 S. Ct. 2079 (2009)
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