Prosecutors can use the confession of a child molester who asked for a lawyer when first questioned, then admitted to the crime three years later, the Supreme Court ruled today, according to the Associated Press. Justice Antonin Scalia said a request for a lawyer can be valid only for 14 days.
The ruling came in a Maryland case in which police questioned Michael Shatzer in 2003 about allegations that he sexually abused his 3-year-old son. Shatzer asked for a lawyer and the questioning ended. When a different officer questioned Shatzer in 2006, he waived his rights, made incriminating statements, and was convicted. Lower courts threw out his confession because he asked for an attorney when first questioned in 2003.