In an opinion released this morning, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today reversed the First Degree Murder conviction against Jerome McNulty, who in 2001, had been convicted of the murder of Linda Correia, 27, in her Salem bedroom.
In its decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that McNulty’s right to be informed by the Salem Police Department of his criminal lawyer’s attempt to provide advice to him had been violated. Consequently, it was error for the judge at his murder trial to admit into evidence McNulty’s signed statement that he made to the Salem Police Department.
When an attorney representing a person held in custody makes it known to the police that he is seeking to reach his client to provide legal services, the police have an affirmative duty to inform the suspect immediately of the attorney’s efforts. Even if the suspect had previously agreed to speak with the police, once the attorney makes that request, the suspect must be informed of his lawyer’s efforts to reach him and the suspect’s prior consent is invalid. Failure to do so results in a violation of a suspect’s constitutional right to counsel.
No matter what the circumstances or the charges, no suspect or person in custody should agree to speak with the police unless they have first consulted with an attorney and have a lawyer present during any interviews.
Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis represents persons charged with all major felony crimes, including DUI/OUI, Crimes of Violence, Drug Crimes, and Gun Crimes, and is available 24/7 for consultation.
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