Justia U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

McDaniel v. Polley

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Police found Moore’s body in a parking lot next to a bloody garbage can. Before Moore was identified, Officer Blackman told Detective Brownfield that, at 2 a.m., he had seen a black male, 6’1”, 185 pounds, in his forties, pulling a garbage can into that parking lot and exiting without it. A woman then identified Moore, stating that Moore lived with her boyfriend, McDaniel, a black male, 6’3”, 185 pounds, in his late forties. Inside the couple’s house, the officers asked McDaniel if he knew why they were there. He allegedly responded, “my girlfriend was murdered.” McDaniel agreed to go to the police station. McDaniel was placed in an interrogation room, read his Miranda rights, and questioned three separate times over 24 hours. He eventually signed a written confession. McDaniel later unsuccessfully moved to suppress his confession, arguing that it was the fruit of his arrest, which violated the Fourth Amendment. He was convicted. On appeal, McDaniel’s appointed counsel argued only that the prosecution’s reference to McDaniel’s refusal to take a polygraph while in custody denied him due process. Rejecting his petition for state post-conviction relief, Illinois courts held that Officer Blackman’s description of the man pulling the garbage can, which Detective Brownfield relayed to the arresting officers, created probable cause justifying the arrest. The federal district court held and the Seventh Circuit affirmed that McDaniel had not shown prejudice as required to establish ineffective assistance of counsel. View "McDaniel v. Polley" on Justia Law