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SCOTUS: You Must Actively Invoke Miranda Rights  
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5608 posts, RR: 8
Posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2263 times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/us/02scotus.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2010/06/01/AR2010060102114.html

So the US Supreme Court ruled that one must actively invoke one's "right to remain silent" in order for law enforcement to be required to stop questioning. Basically you can't just say nothing and remain silent and assume that agencies must stop questioning or interrogating you, and that if you do say anything it can't be used in court. You must notify them (verbally, in writing, whatever) that you are invoking your "Miranda Right" to remain silent. Just like you must request to see a lawyer if that is what you wish.

I don't find this that big a deal and think it is a perfectly acceptable finding. It also means that once you invoke it the questioning must stop in order to follow the law. In the past, from what I have seen police have been able to continue to question you even if you do state your wish to remain silent.

Now I know that some here that are politically divisive will jump on the politics of the Justices involved but I don't want this thread to drive down the "politics hole" that many discussions go down. This isn't about "damned lib'rul's" or "damned conservatives" or anything like that.

I am just curious how people here view this ruling, do you agree with it or if you disagree, why?

From The Washington Post story linked above:

Quote:
In the case about Miranda rights, suspect Van Chester Thompkins remained mostly silent for three hours of interrogation after reading and being told of his rights to remain silent and have an attorney. He neither acknowledged that he was willing to talk nor that he wanted questioning to stop.

But detectives persisted in what one called mostly a "monologue" until asking Thompkins whether he believed in God. When asked, "Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?" Thompkins looked away and answered, "Yes."

The statement was used against him, and Thompkins was convicted of killing Samuel Morris outside a strip mall in Southfield, Mich.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit said that Thompkins's silence for two hours and 45 minutes of the interrogation "offered a clear and unequivocal message to the officers: Thompkins did not wish to waive his rights."

But Kennedy said it was not clear enough. "If Thompkins wanted to remain silent, he could have said nothing in response to [the detective's] questions, or he could have unambiguously involved his Miranda rights and ended the interrogation," wrote Kennedy, who was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. "The fact that Thompkins made a statement about three hours after receiving a Miranda warning does not overcome the fact that he engaged in a course of conduct indicating waiver."

Thanks,

Tugg


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
I don't find this that big a deal and think it is a perfectly acceptable finding.

I agree. And it's not taking away any rights, it just means you say, "I want a lawyer and I'm not saying anything," and clam up. Anyone criminal who does otherwise after being informed of their rights is a fool. Of course, if they weren't a fool, they probably wouldn't be in that position in the first place.



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13115 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2212 times:

Experienced and 'professional' criminals probably already keep their mouths shut until their lawyer shows up. This ruling is going to make it easier for police investigators to question less knowlegable alleged perps of crimes, use various tactics to question so that a person under their control to push for confessions or get incrminating evidence before a lawyer can show up.

User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11357 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2116 times:

The court, BOTH sides of it, completely got this wrong, it seems.

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
So the US Supreme Court ruled that one must actively invoke one's "right to remain silent" in order for law enforcement to be required to stop questioning. Basically you can't just say nothing and remain silent and assume that agencies must stop questioning or interrogating you, and that if you do say anything it can't be used in court.

What baloney. So, now in order to have a right, you have to say the magic words? You have to say "pretty please?" According to the opinion, you have to say something to the effect of "I invoke my right to remain silent."

That comes at the right the wrong way. You don't get a right because you invoke it. You have a right, which you may exercise at your pleasure. This man knew how to exercise his right to silence because he did it for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Then, for his own reasons, he decided not to exercise his right, which was ALSO his right. He knew the consequences: "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

I have no idea how actively exercising a right for nearly three hours cannot be the very definition of invoking a right. It is exercising the right that has legal gravitas, because of the well known consequence: "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

This case should have been 9-0. My guess is that Kennedy screwed it up.



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User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2093 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 3):
This man knew how to exercise his right to silence because he did it for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Then, for his own reasons, he decided not to exercise his right, which was ALSO his right. He knew the consequences: "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

So you agree with the decision?

He's trying to say that he started blabbering after a few hours, but that should be suppressed anyway. I don't know how it is justified that that is denying him his rights.

I'm just trying to understand your logic, because the above quote makes it seem as though you are agreeing with the court.



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineYellowstone From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3071 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2088 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 3):
I have no idea how actively exercising a right for nearly three hours cannot be the very definition of invoking a right.

I was under the impression that if a suspect states that he is invoking his right to remain silent, or requests an attorney, the police will cease questioning (at least until the attorney is present). This ruling merely states that the police don't have to stop questioning you until you explicitly invoke your right, and that merely remaining silent (no matter for how long) does not require the police to cease questioning you.



Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2071 times:

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 5):

I was under the impression that if a suspect states that he is invoking his right to remain silent, or requests an attorney, the police will cease questioning (at least until the attorney is present). This ruling merely states that the police don't have to stop questioning you until you explicitly invoke your right, and that merely remaining silent (no matter for how long) does not require the police to cease questioning you.

Like all those L&O episodes where the suspect invokes his right and Briscoe gets all pissy because he can't question him.  



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11357 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2063 times:

Quoting newark777 (Reply 4):
So you agree with the decision?

No, not at all. I thought that was clear. I think both the majority and the dissent are wrong.

This statement was clearly admissible in my mind, so the dissent is wrong.

However, you should not have to say the magic words to get the Miranda right, so the majority is wrong too.

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 5):
I was under the impression that if a suspect states that he is invoking his right to remain silent, or requests an attorney, the police will cease questioning (at least until the attorney is present).

I'm shaky on this part of the law, but I'm not sure this is correct.


In my view (as in, if I were king and made the rules), the police could question you all they wanted, but the accused could simply refuse to answer. ALSO, if I were king, no matter what you do, the instant you talk, the thing you say would be admissible in court.



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User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2041 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 7):

However, you should not have to say the magic words to get the Miranda right, so the majority is wrong too.

Ok, I see what you're saying, I agree.



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1947 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2041 times:

Don't agree with the decision. The "right to remain silent" is crystal clear. Unfortunately this has become an issue because the police sometimes do not respect that right. This was not the way to fix the problem.

User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1987 times:

The young, the old, those who have difficulty speaking up, the ignorant, those who suffer from mental diseases. . .

Bad precedent.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1980 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 10):
The young, the old, those who have difficulty speaking up, the ignorant, those who suffer from mental diseases. . .

They are given their rights when they are arrested. What do you want them to do, teach a quick Constitutional law class to all the recently arrested? Similar to what DLX was saying, if you have trouble speaking up, just clam up and don't say anything.



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11357 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1972 times:

Quoting newark777 (Reply 11):
What do you want them to do, teach a quick Constitutional law class to all the recently arrested?

That IS what reading Miranda rights is.

This pisses me off because the Miranda warnings are written in simple English. Now, either they add legalese in it ("the accused shall not be afforded any right to remain silent and end police interrogation unless the aforementioned accused specifically and unambiguously states his intention to invoke said right to remain silent"), or they simply are not in compliance with Miranda, because they are not actually alerting the accused to their rights.



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User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21637 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1932 times:

Quoting newark777 (Reply 11):
What do you want them to do, teach a quick Constitutional law class to all the recently arrested?

What I want is for people to be able to retain the right to remain silent by...well, by remaining silent.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineOLy720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6737 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1808 times:

Writing laws feels to me a bit like writing a computer program where there are a number of "ifs" and not all "ifs" have necessarily been considered.

So give someone the right to remain silent, so as not to self incriminate themselves, or whatever. But, the what-if of what remaining silent actually means isn't made explicit. Should the law be that if you remain silent, then no more questions will be asked? Which will probably mean a lot of people sitting in cells twiddling their thumbs. As stated in the "rights", it would seem, there is no indication or suggestion of what anyone else is doing while you choose to remain silent, or otherwise.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1745 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 12):
That IS what reading Miranda rights is.

Touché.  
Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
What I want is for people to be able to retain the right to remain silent by...well, by remaining silent.

But there is nothing currently preventing them from doing just that.

Quoting OLy720man (Reply 14):
Should the law be that if you remain silent, then no more questions will be asked?

That's a bigger issue that I'm sure people will try to argue.



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11357 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1695 times:

Quoting OLy720man (Reply 14):
Should the law be that if you remain silent, then no more questions will be asked?

I don't think so. I think the law should be that the state can ask questions of the alleged crook until they are blue in the face. (Conversely, the alleged crook can ignore the questions for as long as he wishes.)

The warning is clear: you don't have to talk, but if you do, we can use what you say in court. So, the accused has a choice: talk (to get your positive story out) or don't talk (to keep your negative story from getting out). But the choice is in the clear hands of the accused.



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User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10035 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1686 times:
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I'm no lawyer, but I completely agree with the following:

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
What I want is for people to be able to retain the right to remain silent by...well, by remaining silent.
Quoting D L X (Reply 7):
In my view (as in, if I were king and made the rules), the police could question you all they wanted, but the accused could simply refuse to answer. ALSO, if I were king, no matter what you do, the instant you talk, the thing you say would be admissible in court.

I had no idea that the police had to actually stop questioning you if you invoked your right to remain silent. I always thought (assumed is a better word) that they could keep questioning you, and you could keep shutting up.

Not sure what was wrong with that.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25404 posts, RR: 49
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1684 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
choice: talk (to get your positive story out) or don't talk (to keep your negative story from getting out). But the choice is in the clear hands of the accused.

Refusing to talk is hardly implying one has a bad story to suppress.

For something to ponder watch this somewhat humorous law school presentation. Very often anything you might say without proper counsel as truthful as it might be can turn out to be a can of worms for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1669 times:

I'm mystified by the majority here as well. All they needed to do was reiterate that speaking up will waive your rights to silence.

Quoting D L X (Reply 16):
The warning is clear: you don't have to talk, but if you do, we can use what you say in court. So, the accused has a choice: talk (to get your positive story out) or don't talk (to keep your negative story from getting out). But the choice is in the clear hands of the accused.

  

Quoting Mir (Reply 13):

What I want is for people to be able to retain the right to remain silent by...well, by remaining silent.

In a word, absolutely.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
Refusing to talk is hardly implying one has a bad story to suppress.

Whether it's a bad mood, disdain for authority, or having something to hide, the option needs to be there.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21637 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1596 times:

Quoting newark777 (Reply 15):
But there is nothing currently preventing them from doing just that.

Except that remaining silent is not really equivalent to invoking the right to remain silent, according to this ruling. It might have the same effect, but the police could in theory claim that a suspect was being uncooperative by remaining silent without actively saying that they wish to remain silent.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinenewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1584 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 20):

Except that remaining silent is not really equivalent to invoking the right to remain silent, according to this ruling. It might have the same effect, but the police could in theory claim that a suspect was being uncooperative by remaining silent without actively saying that they wish to remain silent.

I agree, and while I initially agreed with the ruling, I can see how it really doesn't make much sense.

Has anyone read the majority opinion? Were they intending to set precedent, or were they limiting the ruling to this particular situation?



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
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