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Court: Suspects can be kept in dark about lawyer

June 23, 2014
Associated Press

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says police don't have to notify a crime suspect that a lawyer is waiting to help.

The court broke new ground with the decision Monday and threw out an opinion that had been the legal standard since 1996.

In 2011, George Tanner was arrested for murder in Livingston County. Police officers tried to interview him, but he said he wanted a lawyer. The next day, Tanner wanted to talk about the case. He incriminated himself but wasn't told that an attorney was waiting elsewhere in the jail.

The Supreme Court says Tanner waived his right to remain silent, even if he wasn't informed about the lawyer.

Justices Michael Cavanagh and Bridget McCormack dissented. Cavanagh says the court's earlier precedent had worked "problem-free" for nearly 20 years.

 
 

 

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