Defendants’ rights law challenged

In the next few weeks a decision could come down from the U.S. Supreme Court that drastically affects the rights of defendants in criminal cases, especially vulnerable defendants, including disabled and indigent defendants. The Supreme Court will rule on a case, Montejo v. Lousiana (Docket No.07-1529). This case could overrule the 1986 case of Michigan v. Jackson.

Michigan v. Jackson was a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. This case dealt with a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel during a police interrogation. In a decision written by Justice Stevens, the Court held that once an accused individual has claimed a right to counsel at a plea hearing or other court proceeding, a waiver of that right during later police questioning would be invalid. This decision applies to defendants who agree to talk to authorities without their attorneys present.

This case is especially important for indigent or mentally challenged defendants. Those defendants could be easily convinced to talk by savvy and intelligent police officers seeking a confession.

At Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton we have extensive experience representing defendants in criminal cases. Call us to see if our criminal defense attorneys can help you or someone you know.

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