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United States v. Wade

United States Supreme Court
388 U.S. 218 (1967)



Wade (defendant) was arrested under suspicion of involvement in a bank robbery. The court appointed counsel for Wade. An FBI agent subsequently arranged a lineup to have two bank employees identify the man they remembered from the robbery. The agent did not notify Wade’s attorney prior to conducting the lineup. At the lineup, both employees identified Wade as the bank robber. At trial, the employees identified Wade when asked if they saw the robber present in the courtroom. On cross-examination, the employees confirmed that they had previously picked Wade out of the lineup and testified that prior to the lineup, they had seen Wade in the hallway with the FBI agent before the other lineup participants were brought in. Wade moved for a judgment of acquittal or to strike the courtroom identifications, claiming that because the lineup was conducted without notice to and in the absence of Wade's appointed counsel, the lineup violated his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The trial court denied the motion. Wade was convicted. The appellate court held that the lineup did not violate the Wade’s Fifth Amendment rights but did violate his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The court of appeals reversed the conviction and remanded for a new trial that excluded the employees’ courtroom identifications. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (White, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Black, J.)

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