Criminal Justice

Accused killer claims Miranda warning was invalid because he didn't understand the word 'attorney'

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A Pennsylvania judge has rejected a defendant’s claim that his confession should be tossed because he didn’t understand the meaning of “attorney” in the Miranda warning.

Judge William Amesbury of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, rejected the argument last week, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Devin Malik Cunningham, 21, testified that he was confused when asked whether he wanted an attorney, and that is why he agreed to speak with police. Cunningham said he thought an attorney is a judge, the Citizens’ Voice previously reported.

Cunningham is accused of participating in the robbery and murder of 71-year-old Joseph Monka of Edwardsville, Pennsylvania.

Amesbury said there was no evidence of a cognitive or learning disability that would support Cunningham’s claim. He also said an officer clarified during questioning that an attorney is a lawyer.

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