475 U.S. 1099 (1986), 85-6324, Watkins v. Virginia

Docket Nº:No. 85-6324
Citation:475 U.S. 1099, 106 S.Ct. 1503, 89 L.Ed.2d 903
Party Name:Johnny WATKINS, Jr. v. VIRGINIA.
Case Date:March 31, 1986
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 1099

475 U.S. 1099 (1986)

106 S.Ct. 1503, 89 L.Ed.2d 903

Johnny WATKINS, Jr.



No. 85-6324

United States Supreme Court.

March 31, 1986


        On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

        The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Page 1100

         Opinion of Justice STEVENS respecting the denial of the petition for certiorari.

        As Justice MARSHALL explains in his dissenting opinion, the violation of petitioner's Fifth Amendment right to counsel requires that the sentence of death for the shooting of Betty Jean Barker be set aside.  However, in view of the fact that, as petitioner has presented the issue, this error would not appear to have affected the validity of the conviction or the death sentence for the murder of Carl Douglas Buchanan, I agree with the Court's decision to deny certiorari and allow the error to be corrected in collateral proceedings.

        Justice MARSHALL, with whom Justice BRENNAN joins, dissenting.

        In the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), this Court held that before police institute custodial interrogation of an individual, they must inform him of his right to consult with counsel.  Miranda further required that the police respect the individual's decision to exercise that right.  We stated, in clear and mandatory language:

        "If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present.  At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning.  If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to police, they must respect his decision to remain silent."  Id., at 474, 86 S.Ct., at 1628.

        We reaffirmed that rule in Fare v. Michael C., 442 U.S. 707, 719, 99 S.Ct. 2560, 2568, 61 L.Ed.2d 197 (1979) ("[T]he Court fashioned in Miranda the rigid rule that an accused's request for an attorney is per se an invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights, requiring that all interrogation cease");  see also Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 298, 100 S.Ct. 1682, 1688, 64 L.Ed.2d 297 (1980);  Michigan v. Mosley, 423 U.S. 96, 104, n. 10, 96 S.Ct. 321, 326, n. 10, 46 L.Ed.2d 313 (1975);  id., at 109-111, 96 S.Ct., at 329-330 (WHITE, J.,...

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