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Name: Randolph v. People
Case #: 03-16064
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/19/2004

If the State places an informant in a jail cell with a defendant whose right to counsel has attached, and if the informant subsequently makes a successful effort to start a conversation about the charged offense, the State violates the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights under Massiah v. United States. Appellant here was a defendant with an IQ of 59, charged with a murder he was hired to commit. His cellmate, Moore, contacted prosecutors and sought a deal in exchange for his testimony. Therefore, Moore acted as an agent of the State when he deliberately stimulated the conversation with appellant. The State intentionally created a situation likely to induce appellant to make incriminating statements without counsel’s presence. Therefore the district court’s decision that appellant’s Sixth Amendment rights under Massiah were not violated was reversed and the case remanded to the district court for further factfinding.