Dickerson v. State, No. 770S148

Docket NºNo. 770S148
Citation257 Ind. 562, 28 Ind.Dec. 658, 276 N.E.2d 845
Case DateJanuary 05, 1972
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 845

276 N.E.2d 845
257 Ind. 562
Clifton Willie DICKERSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 770S148.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Jan. 5, 1972.

[257 Ind. 564]

Page 846

Daniel A. Roby, Thomas L. Ryan, Fort Wayne, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., for appellee.

HUNTER, Judge.

This is an appeal by Clifton Dickerson from a judgment in the Allen Circuit Court convicting him of rape. Appellant waived a jury trial, and the cause was tried before the Honorable Ralph R. Blume, Special Judge, on March 6, 1970. Upon conviction, appellant was sentenced to the Indiana Reformatory for a term of not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty-one (21) years.

The sole issue presented on this appeal concerns the admission of certain statements into evidence which were made by appellant to the police during interrogation prior to arrest. Appellant contends that it was necessary to advise him of his constitutional rights prior to the interrogation as required by Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, and that the warnings actually given by the police were inadequate to meet the Miranda standard. Therefore, it is contended by appellant that the statements obtained by the police should have been excluded at trial.

The events occurring prior to the interrogation, as revealed by the record, are as follows: On May 21, 1968, the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Police Department received a complaint plaint for rape against the appellant. The following day, at the Fort Wayne Police Station, Robert Brunkhart, a Fort Wayne policeman, happened to see the appellant, who was present at the station on other business. The uncontradicted testimony of appellant at trial reveals that Brunkhart called to him and [257 Ind. 565] said, 'There's a complaint on you. Someone's filed a complaint on you about rape.' Officer Brunkhart further stated, 'I'd like to talk to you. You're not under arrest.' Appellant consented to the request and followed Brunkhart to the interrogation room. Prior to the interrogation, appellant was presented with a printed form which was used by the Police Department to advise an individual of his constitutional rights. Appellant was asked to read the form, and, if he understood it, 'to sign same.' Appellant read the form, asked no questions, and signed a waiver of his constitutional rights.

Page 847

The printed form which was presented to appellant reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

'Before we ask you any questions, you must understand your rights. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions, and to have him with you during questioning. You have this right to the advice and presence of a lawyer even if you cannot afford to hire one. We have no way of giving you a lawyer but one will be appointed for you, if and when you go to court and the court finds that you are a pauper. If you wish to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time. You also have the right to stop answering questions until you talk to a lawyer.

WAIVER

I have read the statement of my rights shown above. I understand what my rights are. I am willing to answer questions and make a statement. I do not want a lawyer. I understand and know what I an doing. No pressure of any kind has been used against me.' (our emphasis)

Brunkhart then proceeded to question appellant in regard to the complaint. Appellant admitted having been with the victim on the night the rape was allegedly committed, but he denied that he sexually assaulted her. At trial, appellant's statements made during the interrogation were admitted into evidence over objection.

[257 Ind. 566] Before going to the issue of whether the warnings given to appellant were adequate to advise him of his constitutional rights, we must first decide whether it was necessary to give them in the first place. More specifically, we must determine whether appellant was in custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.

'It is at this point that our adversary system of criminal proceedings commences, distinguishing itself at the outset from the inquisitorial system recognized in some countries. Under the system of warnings we delineate today or under any other system which may be devised and found effective, the safeguards to be erected . . . must come into play at this point.' Miranda v. Arizona, supra, at 477, 86 S.Ct. at 1629.

The State contends that since appellant's presence at the station was not requested by the police, his presence there was wholly voluntary. Further, due to the fact that appellant was expressly told he was not under arrest and freely consented to the interrogation, the State takes the position that it was unnecessary to advise him of his constitutional rights prior to the interrogation. We do not agree.

It is true that appellant was not required to be present at the station on the day in question. However, appellant had gone there for personal reasons, wholly unrelated to this crime. He had certainly not gone to the police station to volunteer information or to be questioned concerning his commission of a crime. Appellant was stopped in the hallway and informed that a complaint had been filed against him. Although he was not placed under formal arrest, the officer expressed the desire to talk with appellant. Appellant consented and was led to the interrogation room for questioning. It is readily apparent that the interrogation at the police station was initiated by Officer Brunkhart. Thus it cannot be seriously contended that appellant was a 'volunteer' in this matter. Furthermore, the circumstances under which the interrogation was conducted indicate that this was much more than a casual inquiry into the possibility of a crime. The complaint[257 Ind. 567] for rape had been filed the previous day. Officer Brunkhart was aware of the nature of the alleged crime, the identity of the alleged victim, and he knew that the victim had identified the appellant as the

Page 848

assailant. It is apparent that the investigation had focused on appellant.

Although appellant was informed that he was not under arrest, it is abundantly clear that officer Brunkhart wanted to question him. We believe that an interrogation, initiated by the police and conducted in the compelling atmosphere of the interrogation room at the police station, at a time when the investigation had focused on the accused, constitutes circumstances which would indicate a significant deprivation of freedom so as to require the interrogating officers to advise the suspect of his constitutional rights. Apparently, Officer Brunkhart was of the same opinion because he presented appellant with the printed form prior to conducting the interrogation.

Appellant contends that the printed form advising him of his constitutional rights was misleading due to the language, 'We have no way of giving you a lawyer but one will be appointed for you, if and when you go to court and the court finds that you are a pauper.' It is argued that the above statement qualifies the statements immediately preceding it in the rights form which, in effect, state that a pauper has the right to have appointed counsel present during the interrogation.

In Jones v. State (1969), Ind., 252 N.E.2d 572, this Court determined that a rights form, identical in language to the form used in the instant case, adequately informed the suspect of his constitutional rights. It is appellant's contention, however, that Jones v. State, supra, was overruled by our later decision in Goodloe v. State (1969), Ind., 252 N.E.2d 788. We do not agree.

In Goodloe v. State, supra, we found that the warnings given were inadequate in that the police failed to expressly advise the accused of her right to have an attorney prior to [257 Ind. 568] and during the interrogation. In Goodloe, the arresting officer testified that he advised the accused as follows:

'I told her--after I arrested her, I told her that she was arrested for Assault and Battery With Intent to Kill. I advised her that she did not have to make any statement to me whatsoever, and if she did, it would be used against her in court. I advised her that if she didn't have any money for an attorney the state would furnish her an attorney. I asked her what her education consisted of and she said a high school education.' 252 N.E.2d at 790.

In holding that the above warning was inadequate, this Court stated:

'The Supreme Court stated in Miranda that...

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48 practice notes
  • Duckworth v. Eagan, No. 88-317
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 26, 1989
    ...in custody until that nebulous time 'if and when' he goes to court is a coerced choice of the most obvious kind." Dickerson v. State, 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d 845, 852 (1972) (DeBruler, J., concurring in result) (finding inadequate a warning identical to the one in this case). See also Unit......
  • Magley v. State, No. 574S94
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 21, 1975
    ...280. Appellant was orally advised of his Miranda rights and signed the waiver form after reading it. Contrast Dickerson v. State (1972), 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d [263 Ind. 633] With consideration for all the circumstances, we affirm the finding of the court made at the pre-trial stage that ......
  • Allen v. State, No. 49S00-9207-DP-566
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 25, 1997
    ...instead that the warnings he received immediately before the polygraph interview make his case "glaringly similar" to Dickerson v. State, 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d 845 (1972). Dickerson, however, dealt with a defendant's involuntary waiver of rights, not the inadequacy of the warnings he rec......
  • Rogers v. State, No. 1072S143
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 4, 1974
    ...statement establishes that appellant voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to remain silent. Dickerson v. State (1972), 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d 845; Nacoff v. State (1971), 256 Ind. 97, 267 N.E.2d 165; Mims v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 37, 262 N.E.2d 638; Hall v. State (1970), 255 In......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48 cases
  • Duckworth v. Eagan, No. 88-317
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 26, 1989
    ...in custody until that nebulous time 'if and when' he goes to court is a coerced choice of the most obvious kind." Dickerson v. State, 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d 845, 852 (1972) (DeBruler, J., concurring in result) (finding inadequate a warning identical to the one in this case). See also Unit......
  • Magley v. State, No. 574S94
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 21, 1975
    ...280. Appellant was orally advised of his Miranda rights and signed the waiver form after reading it. Contrast Dickerson v. State (1972), 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d [263 Ind. 633] With consideration for all the circumstances, we affirm the finding of the court made at the pre-trial stage that ......
  • Allen v. State, No. 49S00-9207-DP-566
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 25, 1997
    ...instead that the warnings he received immediately before the polygraph interview make his case "glaringly similar" to Dickerson v. State, 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d 845 (1972). Dickerson, however, dealt with a defendant's involuntary waiver of rights, not the inadequacy of the warnings he rec......
  • Rogers v. State, No. 1072S143
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 4, 1974
    ...statement establishes that appellant voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to remain silent. Dickerson v. State (1972), 257 Ind. 562, 276 N.E.2d 845; Nacoff v. State (1971), 256 Ind. 97, 267 N.E.2d 165; Mims v. State (1970), 255 Ind. 37, 262 N.E.2d 638; Hall v. State (1970), 255 In......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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