Wainwright v. Greenfield

PETITIONER: Wainwright
RESPONDENT: Greenfield
LOCATION: Hardwick's Apartment

DOCKET NO.: 84-1480
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

CITATION: 474 US 284 (1986)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1985
DECIDED: Jan 14, 1986

Ann Carrison Paschall - on behalf of the petitioner
Ann Garrison Paschall - for petitioner
James D. Whittemore - on behalf of the respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Wainwright v. Greenfield

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1985 in Wainwright v. Greenfield

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments next in Wainwright against Greenfield.

Ms. Paschall, you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Ann Carrison Paschall:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court, respondent David Greenfield was convicted in a jury trial of sexually battery committed with force likely to cause serious personal injury.

Respondent's conviction was affirmed by the Florida appellate courts, and his petition for writ of habeas corpus relief was denied by the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the District Court and ordered a new trial.

This case presents two issues.

The first, and perhaps the most critical, whether the state may use a defendant's most-Miranda warning behavior, including his post-Miranda warning silence, as evidence of his sanity at or near the time of the offense.

The second issue, simply stated, is whether the Eleventh Circuit either ignored or misconstrued Wainwright versus Sikes in holding that respondent's failure to timely object to the testimony that he challenged in this cause could be excused by 20 subsequent objections to the prosecutor's closing argument.

The facts in this case are somewhat important, and I want to go into them very briefly.

Respondent was charged with sexual battery.

He initially pled not guilty, and then prior to trial changed that plea to one of not guilty by reason of insanity.

In other words, his defense was that at the time of the crime, he was not sufficiently aware to know the nature of the Act that he was committing or to know that it was wrong, to be able to distinguish that which was right from wrong.

The state presented proof that the offense was committed, and then offered the testimony of Officer Russell Pilafont regarding the arrest of respondent some two hours after the offense.

Officer Pilafont indicated that Greenfield met the description that he had and he placed him under arrest.

He escorted Greenfield down to the police car, read him his Miranda rights.

Greenfield went on and said, yes, I understand them, I think I would like to talk to an attorney.

In the police car on the way to the station the officer again elaborated on those rights.

The officer... Greenfield said, yes, thank you very much for explaining that to me, I do think I would like to speak to an attorney before I talk with you.

Another, police officer gave similar testimony regarding Greenfield's behavior once he arrived at the police station, and no objection was made to the police officer's testimony at the time that it came in.

Both sides--

Thurgood Marshall:

All these times when he said he wanted a lawyer, did they tell him that if he couldn't afford one, one would be appointed for him?

Ann Carrison Paschall:

--Yes, they gave the traditional--

Thurgood Marshall:

I said, after he said he wanted a lawyer, did they than say we will give you a lawyer if you don't have one?

Ann Carrison Paschall:

--Yes, they did.

Thurgood Marshall:

They said that, or just in the form of Miranda?

They said that in the Miranda warning and no place else?

Ann Carrison Paschall:

And they advised him... at the police station he said that he would like to speak to an attorney, and they contacted the public defender's office for him, and he was indeed able to speak to an attorney from the public defender's office.

Thurgood Marshall:

Was he told that?

Ann Carrison Paschall:

As part of the standard warnings, and then he did--

Thurgood Marshall:

Outside of the standard warning, did they tell him that they would get him a lawyer?