available to the suspect.
We will examine these concepts in more detail
b. Edwards, the court concluded that "it is inconsistent with Miranda...
for the authorities, at their insistence, to reinterrogate an accused in
custody if he has clearly asserted his right to counsel." The court also held
that Edwards could have simply changed his mind and chosen to make
incriminating statements, prior to his having had access to counsel. There is,
of course, nothing in the Fifth Amendment that would prohibit the police "from
merely listening to his voluntary, volunteered statements and using them
against him at the trial."
c. In Edwards, however, without making counsel available to the suspect,
the police returned the next day and interrogated him. This was not done at
the subject's request or suggestion.
His interrogation "occurred at the
insistence of authorities.
His statement, made without having had access to
counsel, did not amount to a valid waiver and hence was inadmissible."
rule in Edwards, remember, is that "once an accused invokes his right to
counsel, he may not be subjected to further interrogation until counsel is made
available unless he initiates further communication, exchange, or conversations
with the police." This involves two issues. First, did the accused actually
invoke his right to counsel?
If so, further questioning is proper only if
there is a second finding, namely that counsel was either "made available" to
the subject or that he himself "initiated the further discussions with the
authorities and that he knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel
which he had previously invoked." U.S. v. Groh, 24 MJ 767 (AFCMR, 1987).
2. The Edwards rule proved difficult to apply: what did "made available" mean
once the accused asked for counsel?
In Minnick v. Mississippi, 498 US 146,
112LEd2d 489 111 SCt. 986 (1990), the Supreme Court attempted to resolve the
confusion that had surrounded the "made available" portion of the holding in
Edwards. The Court held in Minnick that once a suspect invokes the right to
counsel afforded by Miranda, he or she may not be interrogated without counsel
actually being present at any subsequent government-initiated interrogation --
regardless of whether the accused has consulted with an attorney.
a. In Minnick, the accused was suspected of committing several crimes,
including murder, in Mississippi.
Four months later, he was apprehended and
detained in California. Agents of the FBI sought to interview him in jail in
California. Minnick refused to sign a waiver but did agree to answer some of
their questions. During the interview, Minnick told the agents that he would
make a full statement in a few days when his lawyer was present. The agents
ended the interview; however, two days later an investigator from Mississippi
sought to talk to Minnick. Minnick declined to sign a written waiver but did
agree to talk with the investigator.
Statements made by Minnick led to his
subsequent prosecution and conviction for murder.
b. The Supreme Court seized Minnick's appeal as an opportunity
establish a "bright-line rule" barring all police-initiated interviews