Sunday, November 3, 2013

Texas v. Cobb case brief

Texas v. Cobb case brief summary
532 U.S. 162 (2001)

Respondent was convicted of capital murder and argued that his confession was obtained in violation of his U.S. Constitutional Amendment VI right to counsel. Upon petition for a writ of certiorari, petitioner state appealed the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, which held that respondent's confession was inadmissible.

Respondent confessed to burglary of a residence, but denied knowledge of the missing residents. After appointment of counsel for the burglary offense, respondent was subsequently advised of his rights and confessed to murdering the residents. Respondent argued that his right to assistance of counsel was violated since the permission of respondent's appointed counsel was not obtained prior to interrogation.

  • The United States Supreme Court held that, regardless of whether the murder charge was closely related factually to the burglary offense, the right to counsel was offense specific. 
  • Since the two offenses required different elements of proof, they were separate offenses, and prosecution was not initiated on the murder offense at the time of the interrogation. 
  • Respondent thus had no right to the presence of his previously appointed counsel during the interrogation concerning the murder charge, and the confession resulting from that interrogation was admissible.


Judgment was reversed. Even though the offenses were factually related, the appointment of counsel to represent respondent in the burglary prosecution did not extend to the subsequent interrogation concerning the murders. Since the right to counsel was offense specific, and the offenses were separate, respondent's confession to the murders during interrogation without his appointed counsel was admissible.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...