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Edwards v. Ariz.

Supreme Court of the United States

November 5, 1980, Argued ; May 18, 1981, Decided

No. 79-5269

Opinion

 [*478]   [***382]   [**1881]  JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.

 We granted certiorari in this case, 446 U.S. 950 (1980), limited to Question 1 presented in the petition, which in relevant part was "whether the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments require suppression of a post-arrest confession, which was obtained after Edwards had invoked his right to  [****4]  consult counsel before further interrogation . . . ."

On January 19, 1976, a sworn complaint was filed against Edwards in Arizona state court charging him with robbery, burglary, and first-degree murder. 1 An arrest warrant was issued pursuant to the complaint, and Edwards was arrested at his home later  [**1882]  that same day. At the police station, he was informed of his rights as required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Petitioner stated that he understood his rights, and was willing to submit to questioning. After  [*479]  being told that another suspect already in custody had implicated him in the crime, Edwards denied involvement and gave a taped statement presenting an alibi defense. He then sought to "make a deal." The interrogating officer told him that he wanted a statement, but that he did not have the authority to negotiate a deal. The officer provided Edwards with the telephone number of a county attorney. Petitioner made the call, but hung up after a few moments. Edwards then said: "I want an attorney before making a deal." At that point, questioning ceased and Edwards was taken to county jail.

 [****5]  At 9:15 the next morning, two detectives, colleagues of the officer who had interrogated Edwards the previous night, came to the jail and asked to see Edwards. When the detention officer informed Edwards that the detectives wished to speak with him, he replied that he did not want to talk to anyone. The guard told him that "he had" to talk and then took him to meet with the  [***383]  detectives. The officers identified themselves, stated they wanted to talk to him, and informed him of his Miranda rights. Edwards was willing to talk, but he first wanted to hear the taped statement of the alleged accomplice who had implicated him. 2 After listening to the tape for several minutes, petitioner said that he would make a statement so long as it was not tape-recorded. The detectives informed him that the recording was irrelevant since they could testify in court concerning whatever he said. Edwards replied: "I'll tell you anything you want to know, but I don't want it on tape." He thereupon implicated himself in the crime.

 [****6]  Prior to trial, Edwards moved to suppress his confession on the ground that his Miranda rights had been violated when the officers returned to question him after he had invoked his right to counsel. The trial court initially granted  [*480]  the motion to suppress, 3 but reversed its ruling when presented with a supposedly controlling decision of a higher Arizona court. 4 The court stated without explanation that it found Edwards' statement to be voluntary. Edwards was tried twice and convicted. 5 Evidence concerning his confession was admitted at both trials.

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451 U.S. 477 *; 101 S. Ct. 1880 **; 68 L. Ed. 2d 378 ***; 1981 U.S. LEXIS 96 ****; 49 U.S.L.W. 4496

EDWARDS v. ARIZONA

Prior History:  [****1]  CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA.

Disposition:  122 Ariz. 206, 594 P. 2d 72, reversed.

CORE TERMS

interrogation, right to counsel, rights, intelligent, initiated, invoked, confession, custody, talk, circumstances, waived, valid waiver, relinquishment, authorities, questions, cases, cease, custodial interrogation, right to remain silent, the Sixth Amendment, conversation, arrest, incriminating, abandonment, proceedings, knowingly, taped

Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Self-Incrimination Privilege, Criminal Law & Procedure, Commencement of Criminal Proceedings, Interrogation, General Overview, Miranda Rights, Self-Incrimination Privilege, Custodial Interrogation, Notice & Warning, Right to Counsel During Questioning, Counsel, Right to Counsel, Criminal Process, Assistance of Counsel, Voluntary Waiver