DUCKWORTH v. EAGAN

Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
88-317
Petitioner 
Duckworth
Respondent 
Eagan
Advocates
(By appointment of the Court, argued the cause for the respondent)
(Argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

When first questioned by police about the stabbing of a woman, suspect Gary Eagan did not make incriminating statements after signing a waiver and being told he would be provided a lawyer "if and when you go to court." The following day, after Eagan was questioned again and signed a different waiver, he confessed to the stabbing and revealed physical evidence of the crime. Eagan later claimed that the language of the first waiver made his confession inadmissible.

Question 

Did the first warning and waiver negate the constitutional protections required by Miranda v. Arizona?

Conclusion 
Decision: 5 votes for Duckworth, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Miranda Warnings

In a closely divided decision, the Court held that informing Eagan that an attorney would be appointed for him "if and when you go to court" did not render the Miranda warnings inadequate. The Court reasoned that officers did not have to use the specific language of the Miranda decision so long as they reasonably conveyed to suspects their constitutional rights. Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that the instructions given to Eagan accurately described the procedure for the appointment of counsel in Indiana.

Cite this Page
DUCKWORTH v. EAGAN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 23 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1988/1988_88_317>.
DUCKWORTH v. EAGAN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1988/1988_88_317 (last visited October 23, 2014).
"DUCKWORTH v. EAGAN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 23, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1988/1988_88_317.