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NCJ Number: 213242 Find in a Library
Title: Right to Counsel: The Sixth Amendment Guarantees an "Accused" Person Counsel for His Defense in a Criminal Prosecution
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:February 2006  Pages:70-72
Author(s): Devallis Rutledge
Date Published: February 2006
Page Count: 3
Document: DOC
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains court decisions that bear upon the right to counsel for a defendant under the sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Abstract: Two years before its "Miranda" ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a suspect's statement could not be used to prove guilt at trial if the statement was "deliberately elicited" from an indicted defendant after he/she had retained counsel while counsel was not present (Massiah v. United States). This rule became known as the "Massiah exclusionary rule." In two subsequent decisions, "United States v. Wade" and "Gilbert v. California," the Supreme Court created a similar rule regarding the admissibility of pretrial identifications. After a suspect has been indicted and has obtained counsel, he/she has a right to have counsel present during a lineup. If the lineup is conducted without counsel present, an identification made cannot be used as evidence in court (Wade-Gilbert rule). In most jurisdictions, the sixth amendment right to counsel applies either at the time of indictment or at the first court appearance after formal charges have been brought, whichever comes first. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that "Massiah" does not prohibit prosecutorial use of statements made prior to the beginning of adversarial judicial proceedings. Further, if adversarial proceedings have begun but the defendant has neither retained nor requested an attorney nor had an attorney appointed to represent him/her, a "Miranda" warning and waiver will be sufficient to make subsequent defendant statements or identifications admissible in the face of sixth amendment challenges. The aforementioned principles apply to the actions of undercover officers and to informants who may be under instruction from law enforcement personnel to obtain statements from a defendant who has retained counsel.
Main Term(s): Police legal training
Index Term(s): Interview and interrogation; Line-up; Police legal limitations; Right to counsel; Rules of evidence; US Supreme Court decisions
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