Designing a "System for Idiots": An Analysis of the Impracticality of Davis v. United States on Ambiguous Waivers of the Right to the Presence of Counsel
Worobec, William G.
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This article explains the United States Supreme Court holding that police, upon a suspect's equivocal reference to their Fifth Amendment right to the presence of counsel during interrogation, are no longer required to clarify the suspect's true intent. The author contends the majority was erroneous in holding equivocal waivers to be equivalent to clear waivers, and that the decision could not be reconciled with Miranda and its progeny. The Court has impermissibly placed the burden of a mastery of the law on the less knowledgeable suspect, and consideration need be given to existing lower court proposals, or a modification thereof to preserve a suspect’s valuable Fifth Amendment right.