State v. Bean

In State v. Bean, 163 Vt. 457, 658 A.2d 940 (1995), the trial court violated V.R.Cr.P. 5(e) by going beyond the matters properly part of an initial appearance before defendant could consult counsel. During these proceedings, defendant confessed to the offense. In affirming the trial court's ruling that the State could not use the confession at trial, the Court declined to address the defendant's constitutional arguments and affirmed the trial court's suppression on the ground that admitting such evidence would constitute violations of V.R.Cr.P. 5(e) and V.R.E. 410. Thus, we held that exclusion is an appropriate remedy for a statutory violation that interferes with a defendant's right to counsel. Bean, 163 Vt. at 465, 658 A.2d at 946. The Court reasoned: "In essence, the State asks that we not fashion a remedy to redress the violation of the rule, even though the consequences of the violation are exactly what the rule was intended to prevent. . . . In our view, the only way we can assure that defendant has the effective assistance of counsel and a fair trial is to prevent adverse consequences from being imposed on him when proceedings go forward improperly without counsel. . . . We are not persuaded by the State's argument that we are improperly using an exclusionary rule. Although in a broad sense we are suppressing evidence, it is evidence that came into existence because of a lack of compliance with the rule. The need here is not to deter: instead, it is to give defendant the benefit of counsel and to enforce procedures created to protect the right to counsel." (Id. at 465-66, 658 A.2d at 946.)