1960 January 20

Danny Escobedo Arrested for Murder


Danny Escobedo was arrested and released on this day, and then rearrested 10 days later in Chicago. His arrest became the basis for the Supreme Court decision, Escobedo v. Illinois, decided on June 22, 1964, ruling that criminal suspects have a right to counsel during in-custody interrogations, under the Sixth Amendment. The decision was closely related to the landmark “right to counsel at trial” decision, in Gideon v. Wainwright, decided on March 18, 1963, and set the stage for the even more important decision on June 13, 1966, Miranda v. Arizona, in which the Court ruled that the police were required to advise suspects of their right to an attorney, and that if they could not afford a lawyer one would be appointed for them, and also that they have a right to remain silent when arrested.

Justice Arthur Goldberg for the Court: “ . . . no system of criminal justice can, or should, survive if it comes to depend for its continued effectiveness on the citizens’ abdication through unawareness of their constitutional rights.”

Learn more the police and the Supreme Court: Liva Baker, Miranda: Crime, Law, and Politics (1983)

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