People v. James Guilford


AD4 order dated June 8, 2012, affirming judgment of conviction, with dissents. Decision below: 96 A.D.3d 1375, 945 N.Y.S.2d 825. Lindley, J. (AD dissenter), granted leave July 18, 2012.

ISSUES PRESENTED: (1) Whether statements made after 50 hours of continuous interrogation were attenuated by an 8-hour break. (2) Whether defense counsel was ineffective for letting the defendant make statements to the detectives. (3) Prosecutorial misconduct. (Assigned counsel: Gerald T. Barth, Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society, 351 South Warren Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.)


Issue before the Court: Whether an inculpatory statement made in the presence of counsel was attenuated from prior statements made ten hours early that were the product of an unconstitutional 49-and-1/2-hour interrogation.

Held: Because the initial statements were the product of coercion and not merely a Miranda violation, even the appearance of counsel was insufficient to attenuate the prior statements from those made with counsel present.