Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, June 25, 2001


Page 4


Exclusionary Rule Does Not Apply to Vienna Convention Notice—C.A.


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Failure to advise a Mexican citizen of her treaty right to notify her consulate of her arrest does not confer the right to exclude her incriminating testimony, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has ruled.

The exclusionary rules that allows defendants to suppress evidence gathered without properly invoked Miranda warnings does not apply in Vienna Convention cases, the court ruled.

The decision came in a case decided by Div. One June 6 and certified for publication Friday.

In his opinion, Justice Alex McDonald noted that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already has ruled that the exclusionary rule does not apply to Vienna Convention violations.

Article 36 of the Multilateral Vienna Convention on Consular relations and Optional Protocol on Disputes, dated April 24, 1963, requires consular notification. It predates the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona that requires exclusion of evidence obtained without first giving a defendant notice of the right to remain silent and the right to counsel.

The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1969.

McDonald and his panel colleagues rejected arguments by defendant Maria Carrillo Corona that the Ninth Circuit ruling should be ignored by California courts because of the convention’s importance.

“Unlike Miranda, the Vienna Convention does not require law enforcement officials to stop interrogation if the arrestee invokes his or her rights under it, and does not link consular notification to police interrogation,” McDonald said. “Because the exclusionary rule is the sanction for a violation of uniquely American rights, there is no indication the drafters of the Vienna Convention intended the exclusionary rule to be used as a remedy for its violation.”

Corona argued that exclusion is the proper remedy when confessions are obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights to be brought before a judicial officer.

“However, Article 36 does not require that a defendant be brought before anyone,” McDonald said. “Further, Corona cites no case in which the exclusionary rule has been used as a remedy for violations of Article 36 and the court correctly denied Corona’s suppression motion that was based on Article 36.”

Corona was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1998. She raised Miranda as well as Vienna Convention objections to use of her statements, but they to were rejected.

The case is People v. Corona, D033855.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company