Thursday, June 3, 2010

SCOTUS Flips Miranda On Its Head 5-4

A landmark decision by the SC from a MI case was made this past Tuesday. The 5-4 decision will change Crim Pro classes and police interrogations and gives the Police more latitude in custodial interrogations.

After reading the actual case and the opinion, I can see the Majority's reasoning and understand why the change was made. However, I do not think that it was really needed in this case. The SC could have simply continued to strictly enforce the "Unambiguous" aspect when a suspect has been read their rights and has remained silent. If that suspect then speaks, he is obviously not unambiguously remaining silent and they have Knowingly Intentionally and Voluntarily WAIVED their rights. I think this strict interpretation could have been used in this case and still could be used without changing the previous Miranda procedures.

Overall, I do not mind the change, but think it was unnecessary and shifts the burden to the suspect, giving the Police more leeway and latitude in custodial interrogations. This could eventually lead to Police using tactics that wear down suspects and cause involuntary, coerced, wrongful or forced confessions- which is exactly what Miranda is in place to protect.

Great article by the LA Times on the SC Decision below:,0,1344181.story