Right To Counsel Inapplicable to Preindictment Plea Negotiations En Banc Sixth Circuit Holds

John Turner went on a robbery spree in Memphis. He was apprehended and indicted by a Tennessee grand jury on multiple counts of aggravated robbery. He retained a lawyer, who engaged in plea negotiations with state prosecutors. The federal government got involved, and an AUSA informed Turner’s lawyer that his office intended to indict Turner and charge him with robbery and firearms charges carrying for the firearms charges alone a mandatory minimum sentence of 82 years. However, the AUSA made a plea offer with a 15 year federal sentence that would resolve all charges, state and federal, the offer to expire upon Turner’s indictment by a federal grand jury. Before the en banc Sixth Circuit in Turner v. United States were the following questions: (1) Did Turner have a Sixth Amendment right to counsel to advise him in these preindictment plea negotiations with the United States?; and, (2) Did it make a difference that Turner already faced a state indictment and charges…

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