Edwards v. Arizona
Annotate this Case
451 U.S. 477 (1981)
U.S. Supreme Court
Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981)
Edwards v. Arizona
Argued November 5, 1980
Decided May 18, 1981
451 U.S. 477
After being arrested on a state criminal charge, and after being informed of his rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, petitioner was questioned by the police on January 19, 1976, until he said that he wanted an attorney. Questioning then ceased, but on January 20, police officers came to the jail and, after stating that they wanted to talk to him and again informing petitioner of his Miranda rights, obtained his confession when he said that he was willing to talk. The trial court ultimately denied petitioner's motion to suppress his confession, finding the statement to be voluntary, and he was thereafter convicted. The Arizona Supreme Court held that, during the January 20 meeting, he waived his right to remain silent and his right to counsel when he voluntarily gave his statement after again being informed of his rights.
Held: The use of petitioner's confession against him at his trial violated his right under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, as declared in Miranda, supra. Having exercised his right on January 19 to have counsel present during interrogation, petitioner did not validly waive that right on the 20th. Pp. 451 U. S. 481-487.
(a) A waiver of the right to counsel, once invoked, not only must be voluntary, but also must constitute a knowing and intelligent relinquishment of a known right or privilege. Here, however, the state courts applied an erroneous standard for determining waiver by focusing on the voluntariness of petitioner's confession, rather than on whether he understood his right to counsel and intelligently and knowingly relinquished it. Pp. 451 U. S. 482-84.
(b) When an accused has invoked his right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, a valid waiver of that right cannot be established by showing only that he responded to police-initiated interrogation after being again advised of his rights. An accused, such as petitioner, having expressed his desire to deal with the police only through counsel, is not subject to further interrogation until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused has himself initiated further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police. Here, the interrogation of petitioner on January 20 was at the instance
of the authorities, and his confession, made without having had access to counsel, did not amount to a valid waiver, and hence was inadmissible. Pp. 451 U. S. 484-487.
122 Ariz. 206, 594 P.2d 72, reversed.
WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BURGER, C.J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, post, p. 487. POWELL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 488.