Seventh Circuit Reiterates the Importance of a Suspect Invoking Right to Counsel
In United States v. Hunter, officers stopped a truck after they witnessed occupants apparently engaging in a drug deal. Hunter fled from the passenger seat with something resembling a gun in his hand. Officers ordered Hunter to stop, but Hunter continued to run. The officers heard a gunshot and fired at Hunter, striking him in the left buttock and in the foot. Hunter fell to the ground and was handcuffed. Police recovered a revolver from the ground close to Hunter, with one spent shell casing in the cylinder. Hunter was transported to a hospital by ambulance.
A Detective Karzin accompanied Hunter to the hospital, and Hunter was handcuffed to the hospital gurney at all times. Doctors administered narcotics, but a treating nurse later testified that he had remained “alert and oriented.” While Hunter was receiving treatment, Karzin sat silently in the room until Hunter initiated interaction. Karzin read Hunter his Miranda rights. At some point, Hunter gave the name of his lawyer and asked if Karzin would call him. Karzin did not do so. Hunter made incriminating statements to officers who arrived after the conversation. The district court suppressed the statements. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, stating that because appellant unambiguously and unequivocally invoked his right to counsel, the officers should have stopped questioning him. As a result, the statements appellant made after asking for his attorney were properly suppressed.
All persons charged with crimes are entitled to the protections afforded by the United States Constitution. An experienced criminal defense attorney helps to ensure that a defendant’s rights are protected before, during and after a trial. If you have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. For a confidential consultation, contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff at (215) 563-9800 or via email at email@example.com.