Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Illinois v. Kirby case brief

Illinois v. Kirby case brief summary
406 U.S. 682 (1972)

Defendant petitioned for a writ of certiorari, challenging the decision of the Appellate Court of Illinois, which affirmed defendant's conviction for robbery.

Defendant had been arrested in connection with an unrelated criminal offense and was taken to the police station. The victim of a robbery was at the police station and identified defendant as the robber. At the time of the identification, no lawyer was present, defendant had not asked for legal assistance, and defendant had not been advised of any right to the presence of counsel. After the identification, defendant was indicted for the robbery and was arrested. At trial, the victim testified as to the police station identification and also made an in-court identification of defendant. Defendant was convicted of robbery, and the state appellate court affirmed.


  • The Court granted certiorari and affirmed. 
  • Although the Sixth Amendment right to counsel existed at a post-indictment pretrial lineup, the Court refused to extend the right to an identification that took place before the commencement of any prosecution whatever. 
  • Because defendant was identified before he was arrested on the robbery charge, the pre-indictment identification was admissible, even though counsel was not present.


The Court affirmed defendant's robbery conviction.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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