By: Daily Record Staff//December 26, 2014
By: Daily Record Staff//December 26, 2014//
Monroe County Court – Right to Counsel – Attachment – Assignment to Public Defender’s Office – ‘Miranda’ Waiver
People v. Rankin
Background: The people gave notice of their intention to introduce statements that defendant made to the police. The defendant moved to suppress the statements as involuntarily made. At issue was whether the defendant’s indelible right to counsel attached when the police were contacted by his attorney and directed police to stop questioning him. Further, if the right to counsel attached, was his subsequent Miranda waiver valid. Finally, at issue was whether a judge’s order assigning the public defender is a necessary prerequisite to authorize his entry as counsel.
Ruling: The court found that the defendant’s Miranda waiver was knowing, voluntary and intelligent. However, his indelible right to counsel attached when defense counsel contacted the police by phone. The judge further found that the public defender’s office entered the case on defendant’s behalf and all questioning should have ceased. The court noted that while a defendant’s indigent status is determined by the court, a defendant’s right to counsel is not subject to such distinctions.
Elizabeth Buckley and Mary Randall of the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office for the people; Lawrence Kasperek for the defendant