Escobedo v. Illinois 378 U.S. 478, 84 S. Ct. 1758, 12 L. Ed.2d 977 (1964)
Escobedo's brother-in-law was
killed. The police suspected Escobedo and took him into custody. He got
a lawyer, made no statement and was released.
A few days later the police
arrested another guy, DiGerlando, who implicated himself and Escobedo in
The police rearrested Escobedo
and interrogated him without his lawyer present, despite the fact that
Escobedo asked to see his lawyer (although this stage he was not yet
indicted). Escobedo made some incriminating statements that were used
against him at trial.
The lawyer tried to get in
to see Escobedo but the police refused the request.
The Trial Court convicted
Escobedo of murder. He appealed.
The Illinois Supreme Court
upheld the conviction. Escobedo appealed.
The US Supreme Court
overturned the conviction.
The US Supreme Court found
that the denial of counsel is not allowed under the 6th
The Court noted that the
purpose of the interrogation was to get Escobedo to confess to a crime
even though he had a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. If his
lawyer was present, Escobedo would have been aware of his rights.
The Court looked to Gideon
v. Wainright (372 U.S. 335 (1963)),
which established that the accused has the right to counsel. The Court
felt that the counsel was not present during the interrogation, the
accused might make self-incriminating statements that were so damaging as
to make a trial pointless.
In a dissent it was argued
that Escobedo had not been indicted. To allow unindicted people to demand
a lawyer would excessively tie the hands of law enforcement, and is not
required by the Constitution.