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legal process and justice

By jck ·
It seems that this John Cooey who killed 9 year old Jessica Lunsford in Citrus County, FL might get off because, even though he voluntarily confessed to the crime, he had requested an attorney and not been given one right away. Since he gave the info where to find her and details in that confession, none of it might be admissible in court to convict him.

When a guy is blatantly obviously guilty of the crime, should it be right to let him go just because the information he volunteered (and didn't keep his mouth shut til he got a lawyer like he was told he could in his Miranda warning) is not "admissible" to convict him??

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jck

by Oz_Media In reply to legal process and justice

While I still haven't found that they have decided to throw it out yet;
I have found some more info with more detail of the transcript.

They also state;

After being told by Couey that he knew nothing about Jessica Lunsford's disappearance, Grace asks him if he would take a lie detector test. Couey replied, "I guess. I'm just ? I want a lawyer, you know." He adds, "I want a lawyer here present. I want to talk to a lawyer cause I mean ? if people trying to accuse something I didn't do. I didn't do it. I ain't, you know ? ."

Grace responds by saying, "Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on ? so if we were to do a lie detector test, you'd want to get a lawyer for that?" Couey replies, "I want to talk to a lawyer first."

But the law in question will be dependant on the states decision regarding a former case;

"1981 Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Arizona. Simply put, the ruling says if anyone asks for an attorney during an interview, they can't be questioned further unless a lawyer is present or they resume talking with investigators."

So I guess the question is around whether his request for a lawyer was clearly in reference to 'IF he was to take a lie detector test' and even then, he did resume talking with investigators, which was the exception offered in the 1981 ruling stated above. So as I guessed before, it seems that in his states it is the same as here; IF you request a lawyer, you are supposed to shut up until one is present. If you continue to speak out, then you have clearly decided to give up that right, especially after stating you understand your rights, which were read to him several times and he agreed he understod them.

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ok...a few legal precedences

by jck In reply to jck

1. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 346 (1966), established that a person
in custody has a right to legal counsel when being questioned by police
or other law enforcement officials, based on the Fifth Amendment's self-
incrimination protection.

2.In Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), Clarence Earl Gideon,
a poor drifter accused in a Florida state court of felony theft, fought
to have legal representation at his trial. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled
that the right to counsel also extended to the state courts.

3. In federal cases, the right to due process is guaranteed by the
Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination and double
jeopardy and provides that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty
or property without due process of law;"

4. The right to counsel in state cases is guaranteed by the Fourteenth
Amendment, particularly the Due Process Clause.

Therefore, the law is not only there to provide legal representation but also your legal right to avoid *self-incrimination*. And, that right carries to the state courts (which this will be a state case).

Seriously, man. They were (if not required) obligated to get the man legal representation and had not done so up until the time he went before the magistrate...more than 24 hours later. The law made a serious mistake in continuing to question him after he'd requested an attorney.

(source: http://www.lectlaw.com)

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Missed the key issue

by Oz_Media In reply to ok...a few legal preceden ...

The police apparently VERY clearly defined WHAT he wanted a lawyer for, a lie detector test, not his confession.

Grace asks him if he would take a lie detector test. Couey replied, "I guess. I'm just ? I want a lawyer, you know." He adds, "I want a lawyer here present. I want to talk to a lawyer cause I mean ? if people trying to accuse something I didn't do. I didn't do it. I ain't, you know ? ."

Grace responds by saying, "Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on ? so if we were to do a lie detector test, you'd want to get a lawyer for that?" Couey replies, "I want to talk to a lawyer first."

In the above transcript, it was clearly defined that IF he took a lit detector test, he would want a lawyer. This doesn't include the current questioning though. They even went as far as confirming it was IF he was to take a lie detector. SO technically he hadn't said he wanted a lawyer present during the current questioning and he was speaking feeely with the investigators at that time, while fully understanding his rights and choosing to ignore them.

The case that will be referred to for a ruling, the 1981 ruling mentioned before, also states that "they can't be questioned further unless a lawyer is present or they resume talking with investigators."

He resumed talking with investigators without hesitation it seems. He understood his rights, chose not to gain counsel and IF he was to face a lie detector he would want a lawyer present. He chose to continue speaking with investigators though when not facing a lie detector test.

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missing my point

by jck In reply to Missed the key issue

he asked for an attorney before the topic of a lie detector was even brought up.

Therefore, they did not provide him with counsel upon request and henceforth did not provide him with timely protection from self-incrimination.

If process would have been followed and they would have stopped questioning and acquired his public defender, there would be no question about whether or not it was admissable.

However, State Attorneys and other legal professionals have doubts about what the sheriff's investigators did. If it was not the case, there would be no news coverage of it.

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Agreed

by Oz_Media In reply to missing my point

I know that these guys badgered him, they didn't know if she was still alive or not at the time either. You don't know how many times I've seen them get away with the same thing, perhaps not with such a high profile cases but it is done daily. Lawyers always try it and never succeed it seems.

I have often said that what they are supposed to do and what they actually do are two different things. THey have already started looking for tiny loopholes in this case to see them get their evidence forward, it's nothing new and is barely newsworthy these days. Everyone knows they do these things.

IF they even so mucg as make a request for legal support for the prisoner, they can continue with quetstioning IF he is willing to continue. HE doesn't have to answer any questions until his lawyer is present though, if a lawyer is unavailable at that immediate time, he is more than within his rights to say he's not answering any questions until his lawyer is present and thye can't force him to speak, they can't detain him and interrogate him further. He just kept talking though.

Again, this is all dependant on whether or not they actually DID try to obtain counsel for him in teh meantime. If they delayed it or ignored his requests, they are wrong.

But they will find a way to spin his acceptance of his rights, just as they did with the lie detector test.

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exactly...

by jck In reply to Agreed

the key word...spin...

what ever happened to "facts"?

Jeez...Couey should be glad I'm not Emperor...he'd have already been tried and convicted.

Now...Debra LaFave...Check that one out, Oz...that's every schoolboy's dream...hahahha

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/07/18/Tampabay/Lafave_going_to_trial.shtml

If I'd have had a teacher that looked like her, I'd have been molested too!!! ]:)

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See thats messed up

by JamesRL In reply to exactly...

I know the kid was 14, but come on, this person was in a position of authority over this boy.

I just read an article today about author John Irving (Hotel New Hampshire, Garp, Cider House Rules) who was 11 when an older woman(early 20s) initiated his first experience. According to the author it really messed him up.

I know you were being funny, but as my son is 11, I don't particularly find it funny.

James

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sorry you take it so personal

by jck In reply to exactly...

But...let's face it...big difference between when you were a boy and nowadays. ****, they're even way more bold now than when I was a kid.

Yes, I was being humourous about it...but at the same time you should realize there is a big difference between 11 and 14...mostly being...11 is elementary school...14 is in or right before high school (depending on the school class structure). Most boys are physiologically developed by 14...not 11.

I'm not saying it was right either...just that...I don't know too many guys who were my age that if approached by a teacher like Debra LaFave would have said no to her. She's a gorgeous woman, even tho she is sick in the head.

Anyways...don't take it personal...it wasn't your son...he wasn't 11...and she's in jail so she won't be doing it anymore (unless they screw up her case too).

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HIgh School

by Oz_Media In reply to exactly...

When I was 17, I had kind of a teacher thing going for a few weeks, bit of a playful one-nighter after a post-soccer game party, turned petty fling, I'm sure I thought it had potential (even though she was married to an elementary school guidance counsellor) but my ex-girlfriend found out she was preggo and things did a quick 180 in my world.

It's just one more reason I decided to raise a kid and try to work at the same time instead of going to school.

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by The Admiral In reply to legal process and justice

Considering that it is not a violation of due process, I believe he can be held until an attorney can be found.

The volunteering of info is admissable, so hang him high.

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