People v. Burton

6 Cal. 3d 375, 99 Cal. Rptr. 1, 491 P.2d 793 (1971)

 

RULE:

If an individual indicates at any time prior to questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, any interrogation must cease. When a minor is taken into custody and is subjected to interrogation, without the presence of an attorney, his request to see one of his parents, made at any time prior to or during questioning, must, in the absence of evidence demanding a contrary conclusion, be construed to indicate that the minor suspect desires to invoke his U.S. Const. amend. V privileges. 

FACTS:

Defendant, a minor, appealed his conviction of two counts of murder in violation of Cal. Pen. Code § 187 and assault in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 240, arguing among other things that the trial court erred in admitting his confession which he alleged was involuntary and obtained in violation of his U.S. Const. amend. V rights. The appellate court agreed and reversed defendant's conviction. In reversing defendant's convictions, appellate court held that the trial court committed reversible error by admitting into evidence defendant's confession made while in police custody and subject to interrogation where such confession was obtained after defendant's request to see his parents was refused. Such confession violated defendant's Fifth Amendment rights.

ISSUE:

Was the confession to the charges obtained in violation of the rules announced in Miranda v. Arizona?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

 The court held that defendant's request to see his parents, which he made while in police custody and while subject to police interrogation without the presence of an attorney, must be construed as a desire to invoke his Fifth Amendment privileges. When the interrogation was not ended immediately upon such request, defendant's confession obtained by subsequent questioning was inadmissible, and the admission of the confession by the trial court was prejudicial per se, compelling reversal of the trial court's judgment on all counts.

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