This Symposium Essay reflects on the fifty years that have passed since the Chicago Eight trial by highlighting a new development in criminal procedure that has drawn little scholarly attention: Judges are reviving the right of stationhouse access to defense counsel along lines previously envisaged in Escobedo v. Illinois. The Essay also offers fresh historical and theoretical perspective on the need for stationhouse counsel. First, the Essay draws on a series of events occurring during and after the Chicago Eight trial to illustrate the interrelationship of violence and silence in criminal legal systems, the distinctive coerciveness of custodial interrogation for low-income people and people of color, and the corresponding need for stationhouse counsel to enforce core criminal procedure rights. Second, the Essay frames judicial complicity in these phenomena as an exemplar of what Stuart Scheingold called the “myth of rights.” On one hand, judicial reneging on rights renders them mythical because relying on their false promise can be delusional and dangerous. Yet as indicated by new efforts to reinvigorate stationhouse access to counsel, even weakened rights can retain enough hermeneutical power to inspire social movements, litigation, and incremental positive change.
Loy. U. Chi. L. J.
Available at: https://lawecommons.luc.edu/luclj/vol50/iss4/13