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Old June 1, 2010, 08:57 PM   #1
pnac
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End of Miranda warnings?

Is this the end of Miranda? I always thought the right to not incriminate yourself was covered by the 5th Amendment and was reinforced, if you will, by Miranda v Ariz. I know about the 5th and you know about the 5th, but what about the people that don't know? Is this what we can now expect from the SC?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...want-be-silen/

Quote:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects must tell police explicitly that they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting justice said turns defendants' rights "upside down."

A right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer are the first of the Miranda rights warnings, which police recite to suspects during arrests and interrogations. But the justices said in a 5-4 decision that suspects must tell police they are going to remain silent to stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.
Etc.
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Old June 1, 2010, 09:22 PM   #2
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Thompkins' rights were explained to him. They read him the Miranda card, asked him to read part of it back, then had him sign a disclaimer that he understood his rights. Instead of saying, "I've got nothing to say until my lawyer is present," he sat and allowed detectives to grind away at him for almost three hours.

He could have opted out at any time.

The dissent makes an interesting argument that Miranda "implies the need for speech to exercise that right [to remain silent]." While it does highlight an interesting conundrum, in practical terms, it reveals no shortcoming in the system.

Though I'm glad we have Miranda, I've always believed that people should learn how their rights work before the moment they have to exercise them.
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Old June 1, 2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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This is hardly the end of Miranda. A material factor in this case was that the subject had in fact been read his Miranda rights and indicated that he understood them. So when he answered questions without being coerced, it was fair to conclude that he understood that (1) he didn't have to answer; and (2) his answers could be used in evidence against him.
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Old June 1, 2010, 10:34 PM   #4
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The dissent is unconvincing by saying a suspect has to speak to remain silent. The court didn't say a suspect had to incriminate themselves to invoke the right. They just have to tell police they wished to remain silent and not answer any more questions.

Once a suspect invokes the interrogation ends.

If a suspect just sits in silence how do the police know when to end the interrogation?

If they ask one question and the suspect doesn't answer, did the suspect invoke? Is there some kind time limit?

I haven't read the opinions in detail but how does the dissent propose that police are to be informed when to end an interrogation?
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Old June 1, 2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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So the USSC basicly says if you want to Excersise your rights, SAY SO,


whats the big deal. You can clam up at anytime.
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Old June 1, 2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
whats the big deal. You can clam up at anytime.
Exactly. Everyone in law-enforcement knows it as "lawyering up."

I get the impression this case was granted cert to clarify doctrine about Miranda more than anything else.
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Old June 1, 2010, 10:47 PM   #7
johnwilliamson062
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Quote:
without being coerced
Whether a 3 hour interrogation is coercion or not is for another thread, but I suggest you look at what psychologists have been able to get totally innocent people to admit to in long interrogations.

I don't see anything wrong with this ruling Either.
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Old June 1, 2010, 10:48 PM   #8
pnac
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Quote:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects tell police explicitly to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting justice said turns defendants' rights "upside down."
Maybe I'm missing something, but it sure looks like the end of Miranda to me. Unless, of course, you know enough to "tell police explicitly" that you want Miranda protections. I mean, if they must " tell police explicitly", why have Miranda at all?
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy
So the USSC basicly says if you want to Excersise your rights, SAY SO, ...
Or just say nothing.

Now I have to say that I recognize the conundrum. People have a tendency to talk. Many have difficulty shutting up. In my professional life, in a civil and/or business context, people frequently answered questions I had no business asking and told be things that were none of my business, just because I was brazen enough to ask. I would have told someone asking me such questions to go suck an egg, and I have.

But I'm also sorry. It's no one's responsibility but yours to decide what you will, or will not, say. If you've been told that you don't have to say anything, but if you do, it will be used against you, it is then up to you to exercise self control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnac
Maybe I'm missing something, but it sure looks like the end of Miranda to me...
You are missing something.

In this case, the subject was in fact read his Miranda rights and indicated that he understood them. If he had not been read his Miranda rights and/or had not indicated that he understood them, the result would have been entirely different. So Miranda is alive and well.

The key here is that with knowledge of his Miranda rights the subject voluntarily answered questions that he didn't have to, and that he knew he didn't have to -- because he had been read, and indicated that he understood, his Miranda rights.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:22 PM   #10
pnac
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"In this case."

But that's just the point, it looks to me like, from now on, in every case, if you don't explicitly ask to exercise your 5th amendment rights, you won't get them. Some people don't know what planet they're on (that's an exaggeration, in case there's any question), much less what their rights are.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnac
But that's just the point, it looks to me like, from now on, in every case, if you don't explicitly ask to exercise your 5th amendment rights, you won't get them....
No, you don't get it.

[1] You can exercise your 5th Amendment rights by simply not saying anything.

[2] If you don't say anything, your failure to say anything can not be used against you, nor can it be commented upon at trial.

[3] And in order for something you say to be used against you, you must be told your Miranda rights (i. e., that you don't have to say anything) and you must indicate that you understood them.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:36 PM   #12
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Folks, it's as simple as this...

In many jurisdictions--all that I know of--the Miranda v. Arizona admonishment ends with the following two sentences:

"Do you understand your rights as I have read them to you?"

and,

"Keeping those rights in mind, do you want to talk to us now?"

The only thing that the current ruling says is that if you do NOT want to talk further, for whatever reason, all you have to do is say,

"No."

That's it. Nothing further.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powderman
...The only thing that the current ruling says is that if you do NOT want to talk further, for whatever reason, all you have to do is say,

"No."...
And let me add that even if you don't explicitly say "no" you're still under no obligation to answer any questions. The police may ask questions if you don't say "no", but you don't have to reply. And they can never comment on the fact that you didn't answer their questions.

But it you do answer, it will be understood that you did so voluntarily with knowledge that you did not have to answer and that your answers could be used in evidences against you.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:49 PM   #14
pnac
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Quote:
And in order for something you say, you must be told your Miranda rights (i. e., that you don't have to say anything) and you must indicate that you understood them.
That's not what the first sentence of the article says. The interrogator doesn't have to tell the suspect anything it looks like.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnac
That's not what the first sentence of the article says. The interrogator doesn't have to tell the suspect anything it looks like.
The eighth paragraph of the article:

"Thompkins was arrested for murder in 2001 and interrogated by police for three hours. At the beginning, Thompkins was read his Miranda rights and said he understood."
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Old June 2, 2010, 01:44 AM   #16
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Few today remember, but ther was a time before Miranda, when the burden of knowing what your rights were, and when you could utilize them was on the citizen. Police did not have to tell you what your rights were. If you didn't know them, too bad for you.

Also few today remember just how unpopular in, and out of the law enforcement community that the Miranda ruling was at the time it was made.

A couple of generations have now grown up with it, and it is the accepted norm. But only because of that long ago court that felt police were taking unfair advantage of suspects who (for what ever reason) were not aware of their rights. The court today can reverse that decison (which is does not appear to be what they have done here) and it will be perfectly legal, and constitutional.

It is the place of the high court to determine how laws are applied within the framework of the Constitution. We may not always agree with their decision. Logic may not always agree with their decision. But their decisions are the law of the land, until and unless a future high court over rules them. At one time, the high court decided that human slavery was legal in the United States. We have come a very, very long way from that time, but the system is still the same. If a future high court rules that slavery is legal in the US, (ok, extreme, but not absolutely impossible) then it would be the law of the land, until repealed/revoked by that same high court.

Remember the Heller decision was only decided by ONE vote on the court!

That is why it is so important that the people appointed to the high court be without political designs. If there is a serious flaw in our system of govt. it is the high court. The Founders felt (and rightly so) that only people of good moral character would be able to be impartial enough to divorce themselves from their personal opinions and so render fair and impartial jusgement.

And, while it may always have been so, it is, unfortunately, clear that in the last century the appointments to the high court have become increasingly political in nature, and in effect. Nature of the beast, I suppose, but something that shouldn't have happened. Of course, being humans, we are fallible.

So now we come to today, where we are dealing not only with indiviual crime and criminal gangs as we are used to, but also zealots and fanatics practicing what is currently called "terrorism". And police of all kinds are finding that dealing effectively with these people is hampered by granting them the same rights American citizens have in our legal system.

And we are seeing two different approaches to dealing with this situation. The previous administration wanted them kept out of the US (civilian) legal system. Calling them enemy combatants, and keeping them outside the regular US borders, to prevent them having access to those rights the legal system gives everyone (citizen or not) inside the US borders.

Now, the current administration faces the same challenge, and worse, "terrorists" already inside the US, and their approach seems to be, grant them the same rights as the rest of us. But reduce what those rights are. I may be wrong, but seems to be what they are asking for. Its not what they got....yet.

Remember that lots of people in authority in the US are real big on "equal treatment under the law", and if we agree to allow any (even "temporary") reduction or abeyance of our rights to "get" terrorists, those new rules will be applied to all of us, sooner, or later.

Think hard on that. And pass on your opinion to your senator about each, and every high court nominee. It's more important that it seems, because while administrations and congress members come and go with election cycles, high court decisions remain for ever, unless overruled by the high court at a later date.
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Old June 2, 2010, 09:56 AM   #17
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The problem with expecting people to "know their rights" is that in order to know exactly what your rights are you have to be versed USSC case law.

Let's also remember that miranda only applies to custodial interrogations, so to a certain extent in dealing with the police you still have to know what your rights are.

I see no harm in forcing the police to tell a suspect that they have certain rights.

This decision in no way gutted miranda. Police are still required to inform suspects of their rights but the suspect has a duty to affirmatively invoke if they wish to do so.

This ruling doesn't stop a suspect from remaining silent but the police will not stop asking questions until the suspect tells them they no longer wish to answer any questions.

If the police are required to inform suspects of their rights I see no problem with requiring suspects to inform the police of their choice to invoke their rights.
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Old June 2, 2010, 02:22 PM   #18
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Your rights under the Miranda & Escobedo decisions are present at any Police interview, not just custodial ones. Custodial Interviews have been ruled coercive by their vary nature because your ability to leave is restricted. That is why a warning is required. Also, an answer stating that you do not wish to answer questions is not evidence of anything & cannot be used against you. That is why nobody is a target/subject of an investigation & is termed a Person of Interest. If SCOTUS gets more liberal, the Miranda Warning will also apply to them at some date.
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Old June 3, 2010, 06:58 PM   #19
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As I understand it...

Miranda/Escobedo is a court ruling defining a persons rights under the constitution. These rights belong to everyone... All the time. The police must warn you/inform you of these rights if two components are present. 1) Custody, 2) interrogation. The police do not have to issue miranda warning, advisories. If the police dont warn you and you make statements. Those statements can still be used against you in court. Statements made during custody, before interrogation are admissable. Statements made during a telephone interrogation before miranda warnings are admissable.

The curtelage area usually involves custody. What is and what is not custody. Is two openly armed investgators standing between you and the door Custody? If you are stopped by an officer, and he suspects you have drugs in your vehical... he instructs you to wait for a drug dog... is that custody? If an officer informs you that you are not under arrest, but not free to leave...is that custody? Can you invoke your constitutionally protected GOD given rights in any of these cases? At what point should an officer be required to warn/advise you?
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Old June 3, 2010, 07:23 PM   #20
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"I don't wish to make a statement." "I want a lawyer."

Sounds easy to me.

I always wondered what happens if the suspect just keeps insisting that he doesn't understand his rights when read the Miranda warning. "Nope, don't get that..." "Would you explain that again?" "Nope, still don't get it..."
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Old June 3, 2010, 08:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
That's not what the first sentence of the article says. The interrogator doesn't have to tell the suspect anything it looks like.
The Miranda speech still has to be administered. That has not changed. Nor has the ability to exercise your 5th Amendment rights. If you are charged with a crime, you do what every self-defense instructor and lawyer tells us to do: clam up and demand a lawyer before answering any questions.

I note with some irony that in 1966, conservatives thought that Miranda would effectively destroy the ability of the police to prosecute crimes. That didn't turn out to be the case.

(Miranda and his other accomplices were all convicted through an abundance of evidence and witness testimony.)

The Miranda warning has become an integral part of our culture. For what was a very controversial decision at the time, it is now considered to be an unassailable safeguard of our rights.

If the Court was dismantling that in any way, it would be front page news in every newspaper, every day. Politicians and the press would be screaming bloody murder.

Are they doing that? No. Because what the article says is simply wrong. It happens.
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Old June 3, 2010, 08:58 PM   #22
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This ruling is hardly surprising. I was surprised at the close vote. An accused has always had to affirmatively assert his right to an attorney or to represent himself.

The term "Miranda rights" is a misnomer. The 6th Amendment right to an attorney and the 5th Amendment right to remain silent are trial rights. Historically, the right against self-incrimination only applied to the trial. The right to an attorney attached only when formal legal proceedings began. The court used Miranda and other cases only to aid the trial right against self-incrimination and to representation. They are one of the marks of an "activist" court.
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