You just landed a role as a law clerk at Dallas’s largest defense law firm before your third and final year of law school. You have been assigned to work with Mark Taylor, the state’s best defense lawyer. You are working with Taylor on a new case detailed below.
Suzy Smith, a seventeen-year-old Texas high school cheerleader, has been missing for several months. Through an exhaustive search, police found her purse in the muddy river, but no body. Eighteen-year-old Johnny Garcia is a local football player and a classmate of Smith’s. Mad that Smith rejected his request for a date and having watched his black and more popular classmate, sixteen-year-old Troy Stone, score the winning touchdown in Friday’s game, Garcia goes to the police station saying he thinks he can identify the guy they are looking for in the Suzy Smith missing person case. He describes the suspect stating that "he looks just like Stone." He says that he saw him by the river and it looked like he was carrying a bag similar to the one found with Smith’s belongings. Nobody else was with him when he saw this and he says he was too scared to come forward before now.
Detectives Ford and Miller round up a number of young men looking similar to the description provided. When placed in a lineup, Garcia immediately identifies Stone as the guy he saw that night. Based on this positive identification, the detectives bring in Stone to the interrogation room to "just ask him a few questions." He tells them that he has nothing to do with Smith’s disappearance. In fact, he and Smith were friends and this has to be a big mistake. The detectives then tell him that a search of his vehicle’s trunk revealed some of the same mud on his boots that was found on Smith’s purse. Stone states those are his fishing boots, and he keeps them in his car, along with his rod, so he can go when he has time after school.
As the questions continue, Stone asks if he needs to call his father or maybe even a lawyer. The police tell him that will not be necessary; they’re just talking. From there, the questioning continues for thirty-six more hours without any food, water, or rest. The detectives ask the same questions and Stone gives the same answers. Finally, after breaking down in tears and fatigued beyond words, Stone asks whether they will let him see his parents and get some rest if he confesses to what they say he did. They answer yes, so Stone writes a confession.
In the interim, Stone’s father comes to the police station to report him missing. The officer at the desk tells him that Stone is talking with detectives in the back about a case and he will be out when they are done. At no point was he allowed to see his son or given more information on the nature of his son’s "meeting" with the detectives.
The following day, after getting some rest and food, and then talking with his father, Stone recants his confession. Stone’s father has come to your office to help his son.
Based on your learning through the course, analyze the scenario and complete the following tasks in a 5- to 6-page Microsoft Word document.
Discuss the arguments you think Taylor will raise on Stone’s behalf regarding the lineup, interrogation, and confession.
Identify if the situation has violated Stone’s Fifth Amendment rights. Justify your opinion. Also, have Stone’s Sixth or Fourteenth Amendment rights been violated?
Taylor has asked you to prepare an extensive memo (with citations) detailing the arguments you would raise, including case law that supports your positions and case law that the prosecution will likely use to support theirs. Be thorough. Your future with the firm depends on it.