Criminal Defense

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STATE v. INNIS, 433 A.2d 646 (R.I. 1981)

Issue

In this case, Innis is the defendant and was arrested as a suspect for the murder of John Mulvaney taxicab driver. His body was found four days later in a shallow grave and it was found out that he had died from a gunshot aimed from the back of his head. The police were helped by to identify him by another taxicab driver colleague who identified picture of the defendant. By the time he was being arrested, the defendant was completely not armed and was standing somewhere in the streets. The police read for him the Miranda warnings while he was being arrested and another time while he was put in the police car and was being transported to the police station. After the police read the Miranda rights defendant asked for a lawyer thereby showing that he had well understood the Miranda warnings. Three policemen accompanied the defendant and the captain was advised them not to interrogate him in any way while he was left in the crime scene searching for the gun that could have been used for committing the crime. On the way the police started talking and one raised concern and said the handicapped school children could harm themselves if they found the weapon. The defendant then intervened telling them to reverse the car so that he could show them where the gun was.

Rule

According to Miranda rights also known as it Miranda warnings is applied in United States whereby a suspect is given a warning immediately he/she is arrested by the police and in police custody. The rule mainly emphasizes that a suspect should not be subjected to any kind of interrogation while in police custody so as to prevent him from uttering any statements that may be used against him in the criminal proceedings and also to preserve information that he has for proceedings. In case the police do not inform the suspect of his Miranda rights and they go ahead interrogating him, they may use the information gained but they are not supposed to use any of the statements incriminating him in the trial.

Analysis

In Innis case the Miranda rights is applied since he was coerced by the policemen through their conversation even if the interrogation was not direct. Furthermore the information the defendant provided was voluntary and out of concern. This information he provided was not in the trial and he had not been provided with a lawyer as he had asked before and so they could use that knowledge in investigation and not as evidence during the trial. On the other hand the Miranda rights may be used against the defendant since the warning was read on two occasions and he said he understood and went to a step further asking for a lawyer.

Conclusion

The court may rule the case by applying the Miranda rights because the police conversation though not directly was by itself a form of interrogation and invoked the suspect to give the information.

DAVIDSON, 264 Kan. 44, 954 P.2d 702 (Kan. 1998)

Issue

In this case the defendant is accused of first degree murder for killing Shalamar while in his house and later burning his body and stabbing him. The defendant confessed the whole story to an neighbor who advised him to present himself to the police. After arrest by the police, Davidson testified that he killed Shalamar. He said argued that Shalamar kept on coming to his house despite him trying to stop him. The defendant said that Shalamar had even said that he was going to have sex with his wife. He argued that he never meant to kill and that he was trying to defend himself. According to defendant he took a gun after Shalamar had refused to go and placed at the back of his head and pulled the trigger then stabbed his neck with a knife and took him to a bathtub and put on water and stood on his chest until he stopped breathing. He later took him to a farm and burnt him so that he could not be recognized. The main issue arises when the defendant is taken to custody. The defendant claims that it was unconstitutional to inform the jury that he wore the leg brace to prevent him from running away during the trial.

Rule

According to County Sheriff's Department male suspects in custody are required to wear a leg brace during court appearances. The defendant never objected in doing so until evidence had been provided to jury. Wearing of the brace may violate the defendant to a fair trial since he has problem in movement during trial and may also create a bad picture of the defendant to the judge causing the judge to doubt his innocence.

Analysis

Wearing of the leg brace is constitutional and the defendant knew it and did not have anything against it at the start. As per Davidson the statement made by the judge during trial was instruction to jury that deprived his fair trial which is his constitutional right.

Conclusion

According to the constitutional rights Davidson is entitled to a fair trial and should not be prejudiced his innocence until reliable evidence is submitted. He should not be treated as a criminal even if he testified he had killed. He is has a right for another fair trial.

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