451 U.S. 477 (1981), 79-5269, Edwards v. Arizona

Docket Nº:No. 79-5269
Citation:451 U.S. 477, 101 S.Ct. 1880, 68 L.Ed.2d 378
Party Name:Edwards v. Arizona
Case Date:May 18, 1981
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 477

451 U.S. 477 (1981)

101 S.Ct. 1880, 68 L.Ed.2d 378

Edwards

v.

Arizona

No. 79-5269

United States Supreme Court

May 18, 1981

Argued November 5, 1980

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA

Syllabus

After being arrested on a state criminal charge, and after being informed of his rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, petitioner was questioned by the police on January 19, 1976, until he said that he wanted an attorney. Questioning then ceased, but on January 20, police officers came to the jail and, after stating that they wanted to talk to him and again informing petitioner of his Miranda rights, obtained his confession when he said that he was willing to talk. The trial court ultimately denied petitioner's motion to suppress his confession, finding the statement to be voluntary, and he was thereafter convicted. The Arizona Supreme Court held that, during the January 20 meeting, he waived his right to remain silent and his right to counsel when he voluntarily gave his statement after again being informed of his rights.

Held: The use of petitioner's confession against him at his trial violated his right under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, as declared in Miranda, supra. Having exercised his right on January 19 to have counsel present during interrogation, petitioner did not validly waive that right on the 20th. Pp. 481-487.

(a) A waiver of the right to counsel, once invoked, not only must be voluntary, but also must constitute a knowing and intelligent relinquishment of a known right or privilege. Here, however, the state courts applied an erroneous standard for determining waiver by focusing on the voluntariness of petitioner's confession, rather than on whether he understood his right to counsel and intelligently and knowingly relinquished it. Pp. 482-84.

(b) When an accused has invoked his right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, a valid waiver of that right cannot be established by showing only that he responded to police-initiated interrogation after being again advised of his rights. An accused, such as petitioner, having expressed his desire to deal with the police only through counsel, is not subject to further interrogation until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused has himself initiated further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police. Here, the interrogation of petitioner on January 20 was at the instance

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of the authorities, and his confession, made without having had access to counsel, did not amount to a valid waiver, and hence was inadmissible. Pp. 484-487.

122 Ariz. 206, 594 P.2d 72, reversed.

WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BURGER, C.J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, post, p. 487. POWELL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 488.

WHITE, J., lead opinion

JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.

We granted certiorari in this case, 446 U.S. 950 (1980), limited to Question 1 presented in the petition, which in relevant part was

whether the Fifth, sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments require suppression of a post-arrest confession, which was obtained after Edwards had invoked his right to consult counsel before further interrogation. . . .

I

On January 19, 1976, a sworn complaint was filed against Edwards in Arizona state court charged him with robbery, burglary, and first-degree murder.1 An arrest warrant was issued pursuant to the complaint, and Edwards was arrested at his home later [101 S.Ct. 1882] that same day. At the police station, he was informed of his rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Petitioner stated that he understood his rights, and was willing to submit to questioning. After

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being told that another suspect already in custody had implicated him in the crime, Edwards denied involvement and gave a taped statement presenting an alibi defense. He then sought to "make a deal." The interrogating officer told him that he wanted a statement, but that he did not have the authority to negotiate a deal. The officer provided Edwards with the telephone number of a county attorney. Petitioner made the call, but hung up after a few moments. Edwards then said: "I want an attorney before making a deal." At that point, questioning ceased and Edwards was taken to county jail.

At 9 :15 the next morning, two detectives, colleagues of the officer who had interrogated Edwards the previous night, came to the jail and asked to see Edwards. When the detention officer informed Edwards that the detectives wished to speak with him, he replied that he did not want to talk to anyone. The guard told him that "he had" to talk, and then took him to meet with the detectives. The officers identified themselves, stated they wanted to talk to him, and informed him of his Miranda rights. Edwards was willing to talk, but he first wanted to hear the taped statement of the alleged accomplice who had implicated him.2 After listening to the tape for several minutes, petitioner said that he would make a statement so long as it was not tape-recorded. The detectives informed him that the recording was irrelevant, since they could testify in court concerning whatever he said. Edwards replied: "I'll tell you anything you want to know, but I don't want it on tape." He thereupon implicated himself in the crime.

Prior to trial, Edwards moved to suppress his confession on the ground that his Miranda rights had been violated when the officers returned to question him after he had invoked his right to counsel. The trial court initially granted

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the motion to suppress,3 but reversed its ruling when presented with a supposedly controlling decision of a higher Arizona court.4 The court stated without explanation that it found Edwards' statement to be voluntary. Edwards was tried twice and convicted.5 Evidence concerning his confession was admitted at both trials.

On appeal, the Arizona Supreme Court held that Edwards had invoked both his right to remain silent and his right to counsel during the interrogation conducted on the night of January 19.6 122 Ariz. 206, 594 P.2d 72. The court then went on to determine, however, that Edwards had waived both rights during the January 20 meeting when he voluntarily gave his statement to the detectives after again being informed that he need not answer questions and that he need not answer without the advice of counsel: "The trial court's finding that the waiver and confession were voluntarily and knowingly made is upheld." Id. at 212, 594 P.2d at 78.

Because the use of Edward's confession against him at his trial violated his rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as construed in Miranda v. Arizona, supra, [101 S.Ct. 1883] we reverse the judgment of the Arizona Supreme Court.7

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II

In Miranda v. Arizona, the Court determined that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibition against compelled self-incrimination required that custodial interrogation be

Page 482

preceded by advice to the putative defendant that he has the right to remain silent and also the right to the presence of an attorney. 384 U.S. at 479. The Court also indicated the procedures to be followed subsequent to the warnings. If the accused indicates that he wishes to remain silent, "the interrogation must cease." If he requests counsel, "the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present." Id. at 474.

Miranda thus declared that an accused has a Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation. Here, the critical facts as found by the Arizona Supreme Court are that Edwards asserted his right to counsel and his right to remain silent on January 19, but that the police, without furnishing him counsel, returned the next morning to confront him and as a result of the meeting secured incriminating oral admissions. Contrary to the holdings of the state courts, Edwards insists that, having exercised his right on the 19th to have counsel present during interrogation, he did not validly waive that right on the 20th. For the following reasons, we agree.

First, the Arizona Supreme Court applied an erroneous standard for determining [101 S.Ct. 1884] waiver where the accused has specifically invoked his right to counsel. It is reasonably clear under our cases that waivers of counsel must not only be voluntary, but must also constitute a knowing and intelligent relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege, a matter which depends in each case "upon the particular facts and circumstances surrounding that case, including the background, experience, and conduct of the accused." Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 464 (1938). See Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 835 (1975); North Carolina v. Butler, 441 U.S. 369, 374-375 (1979); Brewer...

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