Escobedo v. Illinois

PETITIONER: Danny Escobedo
LOCATION: Chicago Police Department

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)

CITATION: 378 US 478 (1964)
ARGUED: Apr 29, 1964
DECIDED: Jun 22, 1964

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's lawyer sought unsuccessfully to consult with his client. Escobedo subsequently confessed to murder.


Was Escobedo denied the right to counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment?

Media for Escobedo v. Illinois

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 29, 1964 (Part 2) in Escobedo v. Illinois

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 29, 1964 (Part 1) in Escobedo v. Illinois

Earl Warren:

Number 615, Escobedo, Petitioner, versus Illinois.

Mr. Kroll.

Barry L. Kroll:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This is a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Once again, it posses the problem of the rights of the individual who has been accused by the police of participation in a criminal offense and who has been taken by the police to the station, the rights of the individual to the consultation or to the effective assistance of counsel as opposed to the right, claimed right of the State to interrogate him for the purpose of obtaining judicial or non-judicial admissions to be used as evidence against him in the event of a trial.

This is before indictment.

Barry L. Kroll:

That's right, Your Honor.

For -- for a charge (Inaudible)

Barry L. Kroll:

That's right, Your Honor.

The facts of the case may be stated briefly.

They are not too difficult.

On the evening of January 19th, the petitioner's brother-in-law was shot in the garage behind his home.

This happened about midnight.

Approximately 2:30 in the morning, the petitioner, a 22-year-old young man of Mexican extraction, a married man whose wife was pregnant, was arrested by the police with a boyfriend, Bobby Chan, while they were in the home of another sister.

They were babysitting.

They were taken by eight or nine policemen to the Fillmore Avenue District Station about 3 o'clock in the morning and they were questioned by the police for a period of about 14 or 15 hours.

At that time, Danny denied any knowledge whatsoever of the offense.

About 5 o'clock that evening, Attorney Warren Wolfson, who had been retained by Danny and Bobby Chan in connection with a personal injury action against the Chicago Transit Authority of some six months earlier, appeared at the police station and pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus, obtained their release.

On January 30th --

Earl Warren:

Obtained their release, did you say?

Barry L. Kroll:

That's right, Your Honor, pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus.

On January 30th, a Saturday evening, about 8 o'clock, Danny was at his sister's home, his -- the widow of the deceased.

At that time, several police officers came with warrants for the arrest of Danny and his sister.

They took them in the police car, whether he was handcuffed or not is a disputed question and took him to the police headquarters at (Inaudible).

While they were taking Danny to police headquarters, one of the officers said, "We've got evidence that you did the killing or somebody says that you shot your brother-in-law."

And Danny denies this.

He states either, "I don't know what you were talking about," is Danny's statement or the officer's statement is, "Well, I'd better let that person tell me that.

About 9 o'clock or so or 9:30, the testimony of the police officers is in conflict, they arrived at the police station.

Danny was then taken to one room, Bobby Chan taken to another.

By the way, Bobby Chan had been rearrested separately and was placed in a room adjacent to Danny.