Fellers v. United States, 540 U.S. 519, 5 (2004)

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Cite as: 540 U. S. 519 (2004)

Opinion of the Court

Patterson, supra, the Court of Appeals stated: "Patterson is not applicable here . . . for the officers did not interrogate [petitioner] at his home." 285 F. 3d, at 724. The Court of Appeals also concluded that the statements from the jail were properly admitted under the rule of Elstad, supra. 285 F. 3d, at 724 (" 'Though Miranda requires that the unwarned admission must be suppressed, the admissibility of any subsequent statement should turn in these circumstances solely on whether it is knowingly and voluntarily made' " (quoting Elstad, supra, at 309)).

Judge Riley filed a concurring opinion. He concluded that during their conversation at petitioner's home, officers "deliberately elicited incriminating information" from petitioner. 285 F. 3d, at 726-727. That "post-indictment conduct outside the presence of counsel," Judge Riley reasoned, violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment rights. Id., at 727. Judge Riley nevertheless concurred in the judgment, concluding that the jailhouse statements were admissible under the rationale of Elstad in light of petitioner's knowing and voluntary waiver of his right to counsel. 285 F. 3d, at 727.


The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is triggered "at or after the time that judicial proceedings have been initiated . . . 'whether by way of formal charge, preliminary hearing, indictment, information, or arraignment.' " Brewer v. Williams, 430 U. S. 387, 398 (1977) (quoting Kirby v. Illinois, 406 U. S. 682, 689 (1972)). We have held that an accused is denied "the basic protections" of the Sixth Amendment "when there [is] used against him at his trial evidence of his own incriminating words, which federal agents . . . deliberately elicited from him after he had been indicted and in the absence of his counsel." Massiah v. United States, 377 U. S. 201, 206 (1964); cf. Patterson, supra (holding that the Sixth Amendment does not bar postindictment questioning in the absence of counsel if a defendant waives the right to counsel).


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