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Name: Fellers v. United States
Case #: 20-Feb
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 01/26/2004
Subsequent History: cross cites: 124 S. Ct. 1019; 157 L. Ed. 2d 1016

Where officers deliberately elicited information from a suspect after he had been indicted, the information required suppression under the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and subsequent statements should have been suppressed as the fruit of the first unlawfully elicited statements. In this case officers went to talk to Fellers following his indictment in order to discuss his involvement in the offenses with which he was charged. During the discussion he made several inculpatory statements. After spending about fifteen minutes with Fellers, the officers transported him to the county jail, where they advised him for the first time of his rights under Miranda. Fellers waived his right to silence and subsequently made multiple admissions regarding the pending charges. Justice O’Connor, writing for a unanimous court, noted that the matter was properly considered under the Sixth rather than the Fifth Amendment because Fellers was under indictment at the time of the interrogation. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is triggered at or after the time that judicial proceedings are initiated by indictment, preliminary hearing, information, or arraignment, and the issue at that point is not whether the statements were voluntary, but whether officers deliberately elicited statements from a suspect in the absence of counsel.