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U.S. Supreme Court - Miranda

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by: Abassos • May 31, 2010 • no comments

As avid readers of this blog are aware (from my March post here), the high Court has been considering the question of whether 3 hours of silence followed by a confession is a waiver of one's Miranda rights. The following exchange from oral argument nicely sums up both the internal dynamic and the upshot of today's ruling:

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: You want to change the Miranda rule to say: Tell someone their rights and unless they explicitly say "I don't want to talk to you," then they implicitly under virtually any circumstance haven't. That's what you believe the rule in Miranda and Butler and Davis sets forth?

To which Scalia responds that it sounds good to him:

JUSTICE SCALIA: Why shouldn't we have a rule which simply says if you don't want to be interrogated, all you have to say is "I don't want to answer your questions"?

Sadly, Scalia won. The opinion issues on party lines with Kennedy swinging right. Berghuis v. Thompkins.