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Police Bend, Suspend Rules Pr. George's Officers Deny Suspects Lawyers, Observers Say

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By April Witt
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2001

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By the time Dennis Green realized he was in a whole lot of trouble and asked for a lawyer, he said, the detectives interrogating him simply refused.

Instead, the 17-year-old said, Prince George's County homicide detectives gave him legal advice themselves: Admit to a triple shooting that left one man dead and you'll have a good claim of self-defense.

After day became sleepless night in the interrogation room, Green confessed to pulling the trigger -- even though he did not have a gun and prosecutors later acknowledged that he was a victim in the melee.

"I had been cracked by then," Green said.

Green's claim that his request for a lawyer was denied reflects a broad pattern of allegations against Prince George's homicide detectives. Detectives repeatedly have refused to allow people they are interrogating to speak to an attorney, according to interviews and court testimony.

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