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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
Spano v. New York
Citation:360 U.S. 315, 79 S.Ct. 1202, 3 L.Ed.2d 1266.
On January 22, 1957, the defendant was drinking at a bar. A fight occurred between him and a former boxer, and the former boxer knocked the defendant down and kicked him in the head three or four times. It caused the defendant to vomit. The defendant walked to his apartment, grabbed a gun, and then returned and killed the man.
The defendant was born in Italy. He was 25 years old at the time, had graduated from junior high school, and had no prior criminal history. He was charged with the man’s murder, and he secured an attorney and surrendered himself to the police. His attorney told him to answer no questions. He was promptly taken to the office of the Assistant District Attorney and at 7:15 p.m., the questioning began, being conducted by multiple prosecutors. The questioning was both persistent and continuous for several hours. The defendant, following his attorney’s instructions, refused to answer. They eventually called the defendant’s close friend, a police officer, and had his friend lie to the defendant by telling him that he was going to lose his job and be unable to support his pregnant wife and kids because of the defendant. The defendant asked to speak to his attorney and the request was denied. Eventually, at 4am, the defendant succumbed to his friend’s prevarications and agreed to make a statement.
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