Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201 (1964), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from eliciting statements from the defendant about themselves after the point that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches. Massiah appealed his conviction, which was affirmed in part by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed, holding that the statements made by the defendant outside the presence of his attorney must be suppressed.

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  • Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201 (1964), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from eliciting statements from the defendant about themselves after the point that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches. In Massiah, the defendant had been indicted on a federal narcotics charge. He retained a lawyer, pleaded not guilty, and was released on bail. A co-defendant, after deciding to cooperate with the government, invited Massiah to sit in his car and discuss the crime he was indicted on, during which the government listened in via a radio transmitter. During the conversation, Massiah made several incriminating statements, and those statements were introduced at trial to be used against him. Massiah appealed his conviction, which was affirmed in part by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed, holding that the statements made by the defendant outside the presence of his attorney must be suppressed. The Massiah rule applies to the use of testimonial evidence in criminal proceedings deliberately elicited by the police from a defendant after formal charges have been filed. The events that trigger the Sixth Amendment safeguards under Massiah are (1) the commencement of adversarial criminal proceedings and (2) deliberate elicitation of information from the defendant by governmental agents. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant a right to counsel in all criminal prosecutions. The purposes of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel are to protect a defendant’s right to a fair trial and to assure that our adversarial system of justice functions properly by providing competent counsel as an advocate for the defendant in his contest against the “prosecutorial forces” of the state. The Sixth Amendment right “attaches” once the government has committed itself to the prosecution of the case by the initiation of adversarial judicial proceedings "by way of formal charge, preliminary hearing, indictment, information or arraignment,". Determining whether a particular event or proceeding constitutes the commencement of adversarial criminal proceedings requires both an examination of the rules of criminal procedure for the jurisdiction in which the crime is charged and the Supreme Courts cases dealing with the issue of when formal prosecution begins. Once adversarial criminal proceedings commence the right to counsel applies to all critical stages of the prosecution and investigation. A critical stage is "any stage of the prosecution, formal or informal, in court or out, where counsel's absence might derogate from the accused's right to a fair trial." Government attempts to obtain incriminating statement related to the offense charged from the defendant by overt interrogation or surreptitious means is a critical stage and any information thus obtained is subject to suppression unless the government can show that an attorney was present or the defendant knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to counsel. Deliberate elicitation is defined as the intentional creation of circumstances by government agents that are likely to produce incriminating information from the defendant. Clearly express questioning (interrogation) would qualify but the concept also extends to surreptitious attempts to acquire information from the defendant through the use of undercover agents or paid informants. The definition of "deliberate elicitation" is not the same as the definition of "interrogation" under the Miranda rule. Miranda interrogation includes express questioning and any actions or statements that an officer would reasonably foresee as likely to cause an incriminating response. Massiah applies to express questioning and any attempt to deliberately and intentionally obtain incriminating information from the defendant regarding the crime charged. The difference is purposeful creation of an environment likely to produce incriminating information (Massiah) and action likely to induce an incriminating response even if that was not the officer's purpose or intent (Miranda). The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is offense specific - the right only applies to post commencement attempts to obtain information relating to the crime charged. The right does not extend to uncharged offenses even those that are factually related to the charged crime. As noted, information obtained in violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel is subject to suppression unless the government can establish that the defendant waived his right to counsel. The waiver must be knowing, intelligent and voluntary. A valid Miranda waiver operates as a waiver of Sixth Amendment right. (en)
  • Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201 (1964), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from eliciting statements from the defendant about themselves after the point that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches. In Massiah, the defendant had been indicted on a federal narcotics charge. He retained a lawyer, pleaded not guilty, and was released on bail. A co-defendant, after deciding to cooperate with the government, invited Massiah to sit in his car and discuss the crime he was indicted on, during which the government listened in via a radio transmitter. During the conversation, Massiah made several incriminating statements, and those statements were introduced at trial to be used against him. Massiah appealed his conviction, which was affirmed in part by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed, holding that the statements made by the defendant outside the presence of his attorney must be suppressed. The Massiah rule applies to the use of testimonial evidence in criminal proceedings deliberately elicited by the police from a defendant after formal charges have been filed. The events that trigger the Sixth Amendment safeguards under Massiah are (1) the commencement of adversarial criminal proceedings and (2) deliberate elicitation of information from the defendant by governmental agents. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant a right to counsel in all criminal prosecutions. The purposes of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel are to protect a defendant’s right to a fair trial and to assure that our adversarial system of justice functions properly by providing competent counsel as an advocate for the defendant in his contest against the “prosecutorial forces” of the state. The Sixth Amendment right “attaches” once the government has committed itself to the prosecution of the case by the initiation of adversarial judicial proceedings "by way of formal charge, preliminary hearing, indictment, information or arraignment,". Determining whether a particular event or proceeding constitutes the commencement of adversarial criminal proceedings requires both an examination of the rules of criminal procedure for the jurisdiction in which the crime is charged and the Supreme Courts cases dealing with the issue of when formal prosecution begins. Once adversarial criminal proceedings commence the right to counsel applies to all critical stages of the prosecution and investigation. A critical stage is "any stage of the prosecution, formal or informal, in court or out, where counsel's absence might derogate from the accused's right to a fair trial." Government attempts to obtain incriminating statement related to the offense charged from the defendant by overt interrogation or surreptitious means is a critical stage and any information thus obtained is subject to suppression unless the government can show that an attorney was present or the defendant knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to counsel. Deliberate elicitation is defined as the intentional creation of circumstances by government agents that are likely to produce incriminating information from the defendant. Clearly express questioning (interrogation) would qualify but the concept also extends to surreptitious attempts to acquire information from the defendant through the use of undercover agents or paid informants. The definition of "deliberate elicitation" is not the same as the definition of "interrogation" under the Miranda rule established in Miranda v. Arizona. Miranda interrogation includes express questioning and any actions or statements that an officer would reasonably foresee as likely to cause an incriminating response. Massiah applies to express questioning and any attempt to deliberately and intentionally obtain incriminating information from the defendant regarding the crime charged. The difference is purposeful creation of an environment likely to produce incriminating information (Massiah) and action likely to induce an incriminating response even if that was not the officer's purpose or intent (Miranda). The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is offense specific - the right only applies to post commencement attempts to obtain information relating to the crime charged. The right does not extend to uncharged offenses even those that are factually related to the charged crime. As noted, information obtained in violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel is subject to suppression unless the government can establish that the defendant waived his right to counsel. The waiver must be knowing, intelligent and voluntary. A valid Miranda waiver operates as a waiver of Sixth Amendment right. (en)
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  • Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201 (1964), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from eliciting statements from the defendant about themselves after the point that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches. Massiah appealed his conviction, which was affirmed in part by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed, holding that the statements made by the defendant outside the presence of his attorney must be suppressed. (en)
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  • Massiah v. United States (en)
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  • Winston Massiah v. United States (en)
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