requested counsel, a suspect can make a voluntary
interrogators." U.S. v. Peyton, 10 MJ 387 (CMA, 1981).
6. The problem of successive statement -- imputed knowledge. Edwards has been
described as a "bright-line rule." Solem v. Stumes, 465 US 638 79 L.Ed.2d 579
104 SCt 1338 (1984).
It is a rule that will be strictly enforced, and the
courts are alert to prevent its evasion.
A good example of how strict the
courts will be in this area is Michigan v. Jackson, 475 US 625, 89LEd2d 631,
106SCt 1404 (1986).
There, the suspect said he wanted a lawyer when he was
arraigned (advised by the judge of his rights and notified of the charges) on
On March 26, the suspect was interrogated by the police, after
having been advised of his rights.
The detective in charge of the
investigation had been present at the arraignment, but was not present at the
later interrogation. The officers who did interrogate the suspect argued that
they were not aware of his prior request for counsel, an argument that the
Supreme Court termed "unavailing." Since the suspect had clearly asked for a
lawyer, the further interrogation was impermissible: "The police cannot simply
ignore a defendant's unequivocal request for counsel."
The court then
"Sixth Amendment principles require that we impute the state's
knowledge from one state actor to another... One set of state actors
(the police) may not claim ignorance of defendant's unequivocal
request for counsel to another state actor (the court)."
a. Such a situation involves a "confrontation between the state and the
individual." The court noted "the police responsibility to know of and respond
to such a request" for counsel, and concluded that "if the police initiate
interrogation after a defendant's assertion, at an arraignment or similar
proceeding, of his right to counsel, any waiver of the defendant's right to
counsel for that police initiated interrogation is invalid." The result may be
harsh, but the important point is to be aware of the responsibility that it
imposes upon the police. A good example of what can happen is U.S. v. Goodson,
22 MJ 22 (CMA, 1986). After the suspect had been apprehended, he asked for an
attorney. The military policeman who had apprehended him, however, explained
"that all he was going to do was fill out a field interview sheet."
apprehending officer did not interrogate the suspect.
After the form was
filled out, however, the suspect again asked for a lawyer. The policeman told
the suspect that his request for counsel "had been referred" to an MPI
investigator. This all happened on 28 February at approximately 0230.
b. At daybreak, the suspect asked "if he could use a telephone to contact
a JAG." He was told he could not call the on-duty JAG officer. Due to a large
number of persons being questioned, it was not until noon that MPI finally got
around to the suspect.
The MPI investigator advised the suspect of his
rights... and the suspect waived them and confessed.
This time, then, the
suspect did NOT ask for a lawyer.
More importantly, he did not mention the
fact that he had previously made not one, but several, such requests.