texas v cobb significancePosted on October 8th, 2020
At trial, the State introduced portions of the recorded face-to-face conversation, and Moulton ultimately was convicted of three of the originally charged thefts plus one count of burglary. Because the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is "offense specific," it does not extend to offenses that are "factually related" to those that have actually been charged. Rehnquist, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which OConnor, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas, JJ., joined. It started going toward its mom and it fell in the hole. Odessa police then faxed the statement to Walker County, where investigators secured a warrant for respondents arrest and faxed it back to Odessa.
Relying on Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986), respondent contended that his right to counsel had attached when Ridley was appointed in the burglary case and that Odessa police were therefore required to secure Ridleys permission before proceeding with the interrogation. The Sixth Amendment provides that [i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. In McNeil v. Wisconsin, 501 U.S. 171 (1991), we explained when this right arises: The Sixth Amendment right [to counsel] is offense specific. While under arrest for an unrelated offense, respondent confessed to a home burglary, but denied knowledge of a woman and child's disappearance from the home. Critics of the 5–4 decision predicted that the offense-specific rule would endanger suspects’ rights and grant police too much power to carry out interrogations without the presence of counsel. Since the ready ability to obtain uncoerced confessions is not an evil but an unmitigated good, society would be the loser. The police questioned Cobb, who waived his Miranda rights and confessed to both murders. Acting on an anonymous tip that respondent was involved in the burglary, Walker County investigators questioned him about the events. It remains only to apply these principles to the facts at hand. The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed respondents conviction by a divided vote and remanded for a new trial. 991702. Admissions of guilt resulting from valid Miranda waivers are more than merely desirable; they are essential to societys compelling interest in finding, convicting, and punishing those who violate the law. McNeil, 501 U.S., at 181 (quoting Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412, 426 (1986)). The Blockburger test has been applied to delineate the scope of the Fifth Amendments Double Jeopardy Clause, which prevents multiple or successive prosecutions for the same offense. See, e.g., Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, 164166. See 2000 WL, at *5*13 (opinion of McCormick, P. In July 1994, while under arrest for an unrelated offense, respondent was again questioned about the incident. Cobb was convicted of capital murder. Respondent told police that he dragged her body to a wooded area a few hundred yards from the house. Thus, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel did not bar police from interrogating respondent regarding the murders, and his confession was therefore admissible. Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Breyer, joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, This page was last edited on 11 February 2020, at 19:07. 49. The minority predicted the Blockburger test would prove difficult to administer for police — as it has proven to be for judges and lawyers — and would undermine other decisions where the “closely related” test was used. The appellate court thus ruled that Cobb's confession was … The court held that once the right to counsel attaches to the offense charged, it also attaches to any other offense that is very closely related factually to the offense charged. ___ S. W. 3d ___ 2000 WL 275644, *3 (2000) (citations omitted). Argued January 16, 2001Decided April 2, 2001. Then I went back over to where they were and I started digging a hole between them. Respondent waived these rights. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that a criminal defendants Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches not only to the offense with which he is charged, but to other offenses closely related factually to the charged offense. No. The Courts opinion, however, simply did not address the significance of the fact that the suspect had been arraigned only on the abduction charge, nor did the parties in any way argue this question. Moreover, law enforcement officials investigating an individual suspected of committing one crime and formally charged with having committed another crime obviously seek to discover evidence useful at trial of either crime. See McNeil, supra, at 181. An arrest warrant was issued in Des Moines on a charge of abduction, and the suspect was arraigned on that warrant before a Davenport judge. Held: Because the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is offense specific, it does not necessarily extend to offenses that are factually related to those that have actually been charged. Argued January 16, 2001–Decided April 2, 2001. TEXAS v. COBB CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS OF TEXAS. After his conviction and death sentence, Cobb appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on the grounds that his confession had been obtained in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
Des Moines police traveled to Davenport, took the man into custody, and began the drive back to Des Moines. 540, 556, 681 N. E. 2d 1218, 1229 (1997); In re Pack, 616 A. He later confessed to his father that he had killed the woman and child, and his father then contacted the police. On appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, respondent argued, inter alia, that his confession should have been suppressed because it was obtained in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Chief Justice Rehnquist further stated that at the time Cobb confessed to the murders, he had been indicted for burglary [charged offense] but had not been charged in the murders. But the Moulton Court did not address the question now before us, and to the extent Moulton spoke to the matter at all, it expressly referred to the offense-specific nature of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel: The police have an interest in the thorough investigation of crimes for which formal charges have already been filed. "Dual Sovereignty and the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel", "Blurring the Line: Impact of Offense-Specific Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Texas_v._Cobb&oldid=940303609, United States Supreme Court cases of the Rehnquist Court, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Besides offering no evidence that such a parade of horribles has occurred in those jurisdictions that have not enlarged upon McNeil, he fails to appreciate the significance of two critical considerations. Respondent predicts that the offense-specific rule will prove disastrous to suspects constitutional rights and will permit law enforcement officers almost complete and total license to conduct unwanted and uncounseled interrogations. Brief for Respondent 89. After I got the hole dug, the baby was awake. The court further found that respondent had asserted that right by accepting Ridleys appointment in the burglary case. After a short time, respondent confessed to murdering both Margaret and Kori Rae. (b) Although the Sixth Amendment right to counsel clearly attaches only to charged offenses, this Court has recognized in other contexts that the definition of an offense is not necessarily limited to the four corners of a charging document. Constitutional rights are not defined by inferences from opinions which did not address the question at issue. See id., at 176. He was sentenced to death. I went back to my house and got a flat edge shovel. Thus, in all but the rarest of cases, the Courts decision today will have no impact whatsoever upon a defendants ability to protect his Sixth Amendment right. In seeking evidence pertaining to pending charges, however, the Governments investigative powers are limited by the Sixth Amendment rights of the accused. Cf. In Brewer, a suspect in the abduction and murder of a 10-year-old girl had fled from the scene of the crime in Des Moines, Iowa, some 160 miles east to Davenport, Iowa, where he surrendered to police. . In this sense, we could just as easily describe the Sixth Amendment as prosecution specific, insofar as it prevents discussion of charged offenses as well as offenses that, under Blockburger, could not be the subject of a later prosecution.
Respondent then stated: I went back to her house and I saw the baby laying on its bed.
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