Tuesday, October 02, 2007

People v. Simons (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 27, 2007)

I'm on board for this one. It's merely an equivocal request for counsel when a defendant says "How long would it take for a lawyer to get here for me?" and, when the detective responds "That’s up to you. Do you want an attorney right now?," follows it up with "How long would it take if I said yeah?" You get to keep on talking to him to clarify what the defendant really wants. And if he ends the conversation about counsel, as Michael Simons does here, by responding to a detective's question "Do you wanna continue talking to us?" by saying "Yes I do," there you have it. No invocation. Evidence admissible.

Parenthetically, the defendant here is far from a sympathetic chap. Not that this describes many murderers, mind you, but Michael seems a particularly sleazy and unlikeable character. He killed his 17-year old wife with a couple of premeditated shotguns blasts (and the help of a couple of cohorts) because his wife wants to try to save the marriage (!) and because Simons is dumb enough to think that a $50,000 insurance policy that lists someone else as a beneficiary will get paid to him upon his wife's death. Classy. And brilliant. I can't tell you how happy I am you got caught. And that your conviction -- and sentence of life without the possibility of parole (plus 25 years) -- was affirmed.