Case Brief #4
Montejo v. Louisiana, 556 U.S. 778, 129 S.Ct. 2079, 173 L.Ed.2d 955 (2009)
II. The Relevant Fact
Petitoner Montejo waived his right and was interrogated at the sheriff's office by police detectives thought the late afternoon and evening of September 6 and the early morning of September 7. On September 10, Montejo was brought before a judge for what is known in Louisiana as a "72-hour hearing" a preliminary hearing required under state law. Letter that same day, ...view middle of the document...
He was again read his Miranda rights and agreed to go along. While in the police car, he wrote an inculpatory letter of apology to the victim's wife. Only upon their return did Montejo finally meet his court appointed attorney, who was quite upset that the detectives had interrogated his client in his absence.
III. Case History
At trial, Montejo's letter of apology was introduced into evidence by State of Louisiana, over defense counsel's objective. The jury convicted Montejo of first-degree murder and he was sentence to death. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed his conviction, concluding the since Montejo has never formally invoked his rights to counsel officers where not prohibited from further interrogation outside the presence of counsel.
IV. Legal Issues
May a criminal defendant that has never personally and formally invoked his right to consul be questioned by police officer or detective after waiving his rights to consul, consistent with the requirement of the 6th Amendment?
V. The Holding
Absolutely, defendant may validly waive his right to counsel for police interrogation, even if police initiate the interrogation after the defendant's 6th Amendment right to counsel had attached at an arraignment of similar processing.
VI. Legal Rationale