Hendrix v. Palmer

Drug addict is accused of pushing sexagenarian out of parked car, stealing the car in 2006. She dies of head injury. He asks for a lawyer; Shelby Charter Township, Mich. police interrogate him without one. At trial, prosecutors repeatedly characterize his failure to deny the crime during the interrogation as inculpatory. (He’s convicted, sentenced to life without parole.) Michigan courts: Everything is on the up-and-up. Sixth Circuit: The Fifth Amendment protects against uncounseled interrogations after right to counsel is invoked, the Fourteenth Amendment means silence isn’t inculpatory, and the Sixth Amendment guarantees him a lawyer who would have brought that up at trial. These errors likely influenced the jury. New trial or release him.

Tags: 2018, Fifth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Police, Right to Counsel, Sixth Amendment, Sixth Circuit

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