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Fellers v. United States


    Citation. Fellers v. United States, 540 U.S. 519, 124 S. Ct. 1019, 157 L. Ed. 2d 1016, 2004 U.S. LEXIS 825, 72 U.S.L.W. 4150, 17 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 123 (U.S. Jan. 26, 2004)

    Brief Fact Summary. After being indicted, the petitioner was arrested, making exculpatory statements at the time.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel if violated if arresting officers “deliberately and designedly set out to elicit information from” the suspect.

    Facts. Petitioner Fellers was indicted for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Officers went to his home to arrest him. They knocked, identified themselves, and were allowed to enter. They informed the petitioner that they had come to arrest him, that they had a warrant, and asked questions about four other persons named in the indictment, whom the petitioner admitted to knowing. After fifteen minutes, he was taken to the county jail and Mirandized for the first time. He signed a waiver, and reiterated the exculpatory statements. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals did not recognize that the first statements made at home were the fruits of an interrogation, and the jailhouse statements were held to be valid.

    Issue.
    Whether the initial arrest was an interrogation.

    Whether, assuming the initial arrest was an interrogation, the subsequent jailhouse statements were admissible.

    Held.
    Yes. The Supreme Court held that “there is no question that officers in this case ‘deliberately elicited’ information from petitioner. Indeed, the officers.


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