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U.S. Supreme Court 02-24-10

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by: Abassos • February 23, 2010 • no comments

Read the full article for details about the following new cases:

  • Miranda - Modified Instructions

* Right to Attorney - Break in Custody

Miranda - Modified Instructions

Yesterday, Justice Ginsburg writing for a 7 justice majority of the S.Ct. found that a somewhat diluted version of the Miranda rights was good enough. Officers advised Mr. Powell that "You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of our questions." The Florida Appellate and Supreme Court found that this advice inadequately conveyed Mr. Powell's right to have an attorney present with him during interrogation. The Supreme Court of the US finds that the Florida police version of Miranda is good enough because they also told Mr. Powell that he could invoke any of his rights at any time during the interview. The proper inquiry under Miranda is simply whether the advice reasonably conveys to the suspect his rights under Miranda. Here, the combination of the two police statements meets that standard. An excellent summary of the case is here. Florida v. Powell.


Right to Attorney - Break in Custody===

Today a unanimous court ruled that a confession need not be suppressed merely because it occurs after a request for an attorney. If there is a break in interrogative custody. In today's case there was a two and a half year period between interrogations. Obviously, that constituted a break in custody, despite the fact that the defendant was in prison on another charge the whole time. Seven of nine justices agree on a bright line rule of 14 days. A confession may not be suppressed under Edwards if more than 14 days have passed between request for an attorney and the custodial confession. Maryland v. Shatzer

Check out the NYT for their summary.