Kirby v. Illinois

Kirby v. Illinois Case Brief

United States Supreme Court
406 U.S. 682 (1972)

ISSUE: Was it a violation of D's 6th Amdt. right to counsel when the police set up a witness identification of D in the police station following D's arrest but before D was arraigned?
  • V was robbed by 2 men on the street and a wallet containing traveler's checks, a social security card, etc. was stolen
  • The next day, police stopped D and his accomplice in a car and when asked for ID, D produced a wallet containing the traveler's checks and social security card
  • D and his accomplice were then arrested and brought to the station
  • A police car was then sent to pick up V so that he could identify D; upon walking into the room, V ID'ed D; D had not been advised of any right to counsel at that time
  • Trial Ct. refused to suppress ID
  • V testified that the 2 Ds were the men who robbed him
  • No 6th Amdt. violation: 6th Amdt. right to counsel only attaches at the start of adversarial proceedings against D, and mere arrest is not the start of such proceedings
    • Thus, no 6th Amdt. right to counsel had yet attached in D's case
    • Not going to import an absolute constitutional guarantee historically and rationally only applicable only after the onset of formal proceedings into routine police investigation
  • No 6th Amdt. right had yet attached, so no 6th Amdt. problem in the ID

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