Case Study 3: Confessions and Admissions after a Request for a Lawyer
Confessions and Admissions after a Request for a Lawyer
The constitutional rights that are related to this case are the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. The Fifth Amendment states that no person should be held to answer for a capital, or infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury. The Amendment in itself protects individuals from having to be a witness against themselves in a criminal case. In the case, when the suspect was arrested at the store he was read his Miranda Rights and asked if he wanted to make a statement. At this moment the suspect maintained his right to remain silent and asked for a lawyer. He was then taken to the jail and booked and asked again after he asked for a lawyer to make a statement. In this instance, the suspect’s Miranda Rights was violated because they did not let him have a lawyer and he was then persuaded to confess. Also, the suspect was violated under the Fifth Amendments self-incrimination clause because he initially refused to make a statement that could have possibly disclosed information that could have been used against him. The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process of Law Clause adds nothing to the Constitution’s original meaning. Every principle for limiting federal executive, judicial, and even legislative powers that can plausibly be attributed to the idea of “due process of law”—from the principle of legality forbidding executive or judicial action in the absence of law, to the requirement of notice before valid judicial judgments, to the limitation on arbitrary governmental action that today goes under the heading of “substantive due process” (Lawson, 2017).
Ultimately, the police violated the suspects Sixth Amendment rights by not allowing him his right to counsel. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a suspect rights to legal counsel at all substantial periods of criminal proceedings. This violation carries over into the Edwards Rule which distinctly bans the police from starting an interrogation of a suspect who has requested counsel. The Court expanded the right to counsel in Johnson v. Zerbst (1938) by declaring that all defendants facing serious charges in federal court are entitled to be provided with an attorney even if they are too poor to afford one ( Smith, 2015).
In my opinion, the suspect’s confession to the detective should not be admissible. The detectives failed to allow the suspect their constitutional right of counsel. The detectives actually violated a couple of the suspect’s individual rights. The detectives should be more knowledgeable and careful when arresting, detaining, and questioning a suspect. They are taking a chance at possibly letting a criminal go because of their negligence.
Lawson, G. (2017). Take the Fifth . . . Please!: The Original Insignificance of the Fifth
Amendment’s Due Process of Law Clause. Brigham Young University Law
Review, 2017(3), 611-662.
Smith, C. E. (2015). Sixth Amendment. Salem Press Encyclopedia,