The opinion of the court was delivered by: FLANNERY
FLANNERY, District Judge.
The defendant is a 21-year-old individual of low intelligence.
Although he completed the seventh grade,
the defendant has always had difficulty reading
and attended a school for slow learners during his last year of school.
His only prior contact with the law was a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. That charge was filed, and subsequently dropped, by his uncle.
At the suppression hearing, the defendant's responses on the witness stand were lethargic and without feeling. He experienced difficulty in comprehending the questions asked by counsel and the court, and some questions had to be repeated several times. Frequently his responses were interrupted by long pauses when he apparently forgot the question asked.
The defendant was arrested at 9:30 p.m. on March 1, 1972, at a Gino's Restaurant where he allegedly passed an altered one-dollar bill. Apparently the "10" from a ten-dollar bill had been taped over the "1" on a one-dollar bill. The arresting officers read the standard Miranda warnings
to him at the scene of the arrest and again before arriving at the station house.
The defendant testified that upon arriving at the station house he requested a lawyer but was told that the police do not provide lawyers. According to defendant, the police advised him that he could discuss the matter with someone who was coming over from the "federal building." There was no testimony by the police concerning defendant's alleged request for counsel.
At 11:30 p.m., two hours after the arrest, two Secret Service agents arrived at the station house to question the defendant. They accompanied him into an interrogation room and administered the Miranda warnings. The defendant was provided a copy of these warnings to read as the agents recited the warnings to him,
and he signed a form indicating he understood his rights.
The agents testified that the defendant appeared to read the statement and that he at no time indicated an inability to read or comprehend the rights statement. At the hearing, however, a question arose as to whether the defendant could read at all.
The defendant's interrogation continued for one and one-half hours. Both agents questioned him, alternating the subject of the questions between routine administrative matters and the transaction leading to his arrest. Shortly after the interrogation began, the defendant was told to remove all his clothing and bend over. A strip search ensued for a period of about three minutes.
At first the defendant repeatedly denied passing the altered bill, but the agents repeatedly said they did not believe him.
Eventually he admitted passing the bill but maintained he had no knowledge that it was counterfeit. After the agents threatened to check for fingerprints under the tape on the bill, the defendant indicated his willingness to sign a statement. There is conflicting testimony concerning exactly how the statement was prepared, but defendant signed it at 1:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. on March 2nd, he was presented before a magistrate.
The court, therefore, finds that the confession occurred after defendant had requested and been denied counsel. Consequently, evidence of ...