Taking the Sixth: Brennan short-circuits a wire

Brennan short-circuits a wire

Even on a Supreme Court that leans to the right on criminal matters, Justice William Brennan has shown a gift for assembling a majority behind liberal decisions. He did it again last week in a 5-to-4 ruling that fortified a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel. In the case of a convicted car thief, Perley Moulton Jr., the court ruled that Maine authorities should not have used as evidence statements he made, after his indictment, in conversation with his alleged partner, a wired government informant.

Prosecutors argued that the exchange had been taped not to obtain evidence in the theft case...

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