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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!