RUFF JUSTICE

Court: Suspect Wasn’t Asking for Lawyer When He Requested a ‘Lawyer Dog’

The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that a suspect was not asking for legal representation when he asked police to “just give me a lawyer dog” while he was being interrogated in 2015, the Washington Post reported Thursday. The court found that Warren Demesme, who was being questioned about accusations of sexual assault, requested a canine lawyer and was not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. The ruling will allow incriminating statements Demesme made after his request be entered as evidence in his pending trail for raping a juvenile. During the interrogation, Demesme, who has repeatedly denied the crime, reportedly told police, according to transcripts: “This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.” The police transcript clearly overlooked the use of punctuation after “lawyer,” and neglected the fact that “dog” is often used as a sobriquet. Police continued their interrogation without a lawyer present, though they are legally bound to stop questioning if a suspect requests legal counsel.