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McNeil v. Wisconsin (90-5319), 501 U.S. 171 (1991)
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McNEIL v. WISCONSIN

No. 90-5319

McNEIL, PETITIONER v. WISCONSIN

[June 13, 1991]

Justice Kennedy, concurring.

I join the opinion of the Court in all respects. Its sensible recognition that invocation of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is specific to the offense in question should apply as well to requests for counsel under the Fifth Amendment. See Arizona v. Roberson, 486 U.S. 675, 688 (1988) (Kennedy, J., dissenting). For those in custody, Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981), and its progeny go far to protect an individual who desires the assistance of counsel during interrogation. Limiting the extraordinary protections of Edwards to a particular investigation would not increase the risk of confessions induced by official efforts to wear down the will of a suspect. Having adopted an offense-specific rule for invocation of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, the Court should devote some attention to bringing its Fifth and Sixth Amendment jurisprudence into a logical alignment, and should give uniform, fair, and workable guidelines for the criminal justice system.

Even if petitioner had invoked his Fifth Amendment right with respect to the West Allis armed robbery, I do not believe the authorities should have been prohibited from questioning him in connection with the Caledonia offenses.