Supreme Court issues opinion on Edwards & custody

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The US Supreme Court issued one opinion today.  In Maryland v. Shatzer, the Court issued an opinion, authored by Justice Scalia, in which it found an exception to the 1981 decision in Edwards v. Arizona.  In Edwards, the Court held that once a suspect invokes the Miranda right to the presence of counsel, there is a presumption that any waiver of that right in response to police interrogation, while the suspect is in custody, is involuntary.  The defendant here invoked his right to counsel in 2003.  Investigation of the case closed and the defendant was returned to general population in prison pursuant to his conviction on another charge.  In 2006, another detective reopened the investigation.  The defendant waived his Miranda rights and gave an inculpatory statement.  The US Supreme Court creates a new rule in Shatzer by finding that if there is a break in Miranda custody of more than two weeks between the first and second attempts at interrogation, Edwards does not apply.  The defendant here was released back into the general prison population and the Court finds this to be a break in Miranda custody.  The continued detention, pursuant to a judgment of conviction, is disconnected from a custodial interrogation.  Justices Stevens and Thomas concur in the judgment but not the opinion.

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on February 24, 2010 8:55 AM.

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