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New Sup Ct take on Miranda Rule

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by ChiefWPD, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. ChiefWPD


    Dec 25, 2004
    Interesting Supreme Court ruling on Miranda.

    HOWES, WARDEN v. FIELDS, Argued October 4, 2011—Decided February 21, 2012 No. 10–680.

    Basically the ruling is, a person who is in prison, and who is being interviewed for a previous crime, need not be Mirandized as they are, for the purposes of Miranda, not in custody!

    You have to read the whole thing as I find it a truly bizarre ruling, not that I’m against it mind you.
  2. Kahr_Glockman


    Feb 26, 2005
    What was the decision break down



    Dec 31, 2000

    Alito - delivered the opinion of the Court

    Ginsburg - filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part
  4. Kahr_Glockman


    Feb 26, 2005
    Thanks, interesting break down.
  5. 3Speedyfish3


    Jun 12, 2011
    I agree with ChiefWPD. I posted a breakdown of some of the "bizarre ruling" here:

    The paragraphs I quoted from the ruling show an interesting insight into the collective mind of the High Court. This majority opinion surprised me.

  6. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Some seem to forget that Miranda itself was a "Bizzare" ruling to begin with. The Court that gave us Miranda openly admitted that it was not mandated by the Constitution. They just thought it was a good idea.

    One of the dissenting judges:

  7. Well, if someone is already in prison, that means the person was tried and found guilty. So if the person is being interviewed for that crime, he's NOT in custody. It's not like he can be tried again for that same crime, or a judge can add more time to the sentence.

    And if during the course of the interview the person starts blabbing about some totally unrelated crime (that the investigator knew nothing about and had absolutely no interest in, etc...), that's merely spontaneous utterance.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  8. ChiefWPD


    Dec 25, 2004
    A million years ago, when I was a young detective in the NYPD, a crusty sgt once told me, as we discussed the Miranda rule; "The problem with most homicide investigations is, you only got two witnesses. One of them is dead and now you're telling the other one to shut up."

    Well, we reap what we sow.
  9. Shocked! Shocked I say!
  10. duplicate :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  11. Newcop761

    Newcop761 CLM

    Jan 29, 2001
    In Existential Crisis
  12. Ooops. The ruling involved being interviewed about another crime that he was later convicted of.

    This case is interesting as it explains a bit more about the purposes behind Miranda.
  13. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    I'm amazed my dept doesn't require us to read Miranda on a traffic stop. They got tired of the Miranda arguments and just started requiring Miranda for everything.

    Pretty hard to sort a DV call out when you gotta read Miranda to both parties soon as you step in the door to break it up.
  14. I thought about this ruling since this morning and was again impressed with the Justices' strong grasp of the real world.

    Seems to me, the reasoning behind this ruling is "Look, anyone who has gone through the criminal legal process (arrest, trial, incarceration) knows the game. And knows how the game is played. And they already know they don't have to talk to the cops if they don't want to.

    So under the specific facts of this case (person already in prison) all the cops have to do is remind him that he's free to leave. The cops don't have to give the entire 'you have the right to remain silent... do you understand?' schtick because the person already knows that."

    I'd say the Justices (at least 6 of them) have a firm grasp on reality. Kudos.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  15. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    I was going to make a joke about "Am I being detained? Am I free to leave?" Kind of funny a prisoner asking that...

    But the reality is they're free to leave to return to their cell at any point...

    So there's different degrees of "free to leave" as it turns out... :rofl:

    Having spent a few nights in county jail working with computer systems, I prefer the "free to leave" that consists of me walking up to the exit doors, smiling and waving at the camera, followed by BZZZZZT CLICK, BZZZZT CLICK as I'm out the "airlock" and on my way to the parking lot...

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  16. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

    Miranda is really pretty simple, and case law is clear. I know it's a pain working for people who don't actually read those legal updates.

    My advice to you is to start drinking heavily. :wavey:
  17. I'm surprised Kagan got this one right.
  18. merlynusn


    Nov 16, 2007
    Why read Miranda rights to someone when Miranda doesn't apply? It only applies if Custody and Interrogation are both present. Not in custody on a traffic stop and certainly not in a DV where no arrest has been made.

    And the standard is "Free to leave or otherwise terminate the encounter." That was due to the one on the bus (don't remember the actual case name at the moment). They couldn't leave the bus or they'd miss their trip. So the standard was changed to terminate the encounter.
  19. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    Tell me about it. I know the case law, I am know expert but I know the basics, and Miranda is a basic one.

    If I put in a report that I asked someone "......"and they responded ".........." I will either have to add that I first read Miranda, or if I didn't read Miranda I have to scratch it out of the report as ordered by the supervisors.

    And yes, I will be having a beer or four this afternoon when I get off for the week. It has been a long 60+hr 5 day week. And so far today has a been a wet one.

    Looking forward to 4 off days with no LE work whatsoever.

    Stay safe.