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NCJ Number: 121216 Find in a Library
Title: Duckworth v. Eagan: A Little-Noticed Miranda Case That May Cause Much Mischief
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:25  Issue:6  Dated:(November-December 1989)  Pages:550-561
Author(s): Y Kamisar
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In Duckworth v. Eagan, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to the Miranda doctrine when it upheld confusing and misleading language used by Hammond, Indiana police obliged under the law of Miranda to apprise a defendant of his right to have a lawyer appointed prior to any questioning.
Abstract: The language used by the police was full of internal inconsistencies. Instead of telling the defendant, an indigent, that if he could not afford counsel, a lawyer would be provided to him prior to any interrogation, the police said: "We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you, if you wish, if and when you go to court." Language almost identical to that used by the Hammond, Indiana police had been discredited by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1972. Thus, the police should have been on notice that their statement was an unacceptable enunciation of the defendant's right to be represented by counsel before interrogation of him could occur. By approving the use of such inconsistent and ambiguous Miranda language by police, the Supreme Court is encouraging them to play fast and loose with Miranda warnings and to undercut the constitutional rights of uneducated and indigent defendants. 33 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Miranda rights
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Police arrest training; Right to counsel; Rights of the accused
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