I am always on the hunt for new and interesting cases, well, not to disappoint, today I came across a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling that declined to review the trial court’s ruling in State v. Demesme.
Evidently, the LA Supreme Court refused to exclude incriminating statements that Defendant (Desmesme) allegedly made to law enforcement. In a 6-1 holding, the court just denied review and noted one justice had voted to grant it. However, here is where it gets interesting, for Justice Crichton, one of the six concurring justices, did write a very brief opinion, saying he wanted to “spotlight the very important constitutional issue” presented. What was the very important constitutional issue? He wanted to explore the “reference to a ‘lawyer dog'”
Mr. Demesme didn’t make any “reference to a ‘lawyer dog.'” In fact what he did say was, “[I]f y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what’s up.” Now, I don't know what was actually said, but I imagine that according to the transcript, Justice Crichton wrote his opinion on what he read.
Nevertheless, I pretty confident what Demesme actually said was, “why don’t you just give me a lawyer, dog,'” He was using the word "dog" as slang in much the same way Randy Jackson from The Next American Idol always used it. "Lawyer dog" doesn't make any sense.
The US Supreme Court (USSC) has been quite evident in that it must be perfectly clear that when one invokes his right to counsel it must be clear, unequivocal and unambiguous. While I would agree that Demesme's statement might not pass the USSC's test, there is no debate that he was asking for a lawyer, however, perhaps not invoking his right to remain silent. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that silence does not invoke your right to remain silent.
While I cannot speak for Justice Crichton's reasoning, could it be that he just didn't want to suppress Demesme statement. We all have a need to purge our souls, especially, if we feel we can get out of trouble. What is someone believes my lies??? For the most part, people have a sense that we can talk our way out of anything.
In the future, always remember - speak up and invoke your right to remain silent. Afterwards, ask for a lawyer. Otherwise, your "lawyer, dawg,” is not going to help you.