Escobedo v. Illinois Case Brief

Facts of the case

Danny Escobedo was arrested and taken to a police station for questioning. Over several hours, the police refused his repeated requests to see his lawyer. Escobedo subsequently confessed to murder. Escobedo appealed the affirmation of his conviction of murder by the Supreme Court of Illinois, which held that petitioner’s confession had been admissible even though it was obtained after he had requested and been denied the assistance of counsel.

Why is the case important?

The petitioner Danny Escobedo asked to speak with his lawyer while in police custody but before being formally charged and was denied.

Question

If a suspect has been taken into police custody and interrogated by police without their request to see an attorney being honored, nor being advised of their right to remain silent, have they been denied effective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment?

ANSWER

Yes. Reverse the petitioner’s conviction and remand the case.
The Sixth Amendment protects the right to effective assistance of counsel. Here, because the police investigation focused on the accused as a suspect rather than a less specific investigation, refusing to allow an accused to speak with his attorney is a denial of this Sixth Amendment right. The incriminating statements he made must thus not be admitted into evidence.

CONCLUSION

The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of conviction because petitioner was denied the assistance of counsel. The court noted that suspect who was being interrogated by police while in custody, who had not been warned of his right to remain silent, and who had requested and been denied an opportunity to consult with his lawyer, had been denied the assistance of counsel in violation of U.S. Const. amend. VI, and any statement elicited under such circumstances could not be used against him at a criminal trial.

  • Advocates: –
  • Petitioner: Danny Escobedo
  • Respondent: Illinois
  • DECIDED BY:Warren Court
  • Location: Chicago Police Department
Citation: 378 US 478 (1964)
Argued: Apr 29, 1964
Decided: Jun 22, 1964
Escobedo v. Illinois Case Brief