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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a long-standing ruling that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer was present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects.
''The police interrogation in this case clearly violated petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel,'' Stevens said. Overruling the Jackson case, he said, ''can only diminish the public's confidence in the reliability and fairness of our system of just
The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, said the 1986 decision ''serves no real purpose'' and offers only ''meager benefits.'' The government said defendants who don't wish to talk to police don't have to and that officers must respect that decision. But it said there is no reason a defendant who wants to should not be able to respond to officers' questions.