September 23, 2020         
Cano Health Inaugurates First Medical Center In San Antonio On Saturday, September 26   •   Seven Million American Women of Childbearing Age Live in Counties with Limited or No Maternity Care, Contributing to Maternal an   •   Walmart Announces Plans to Meet the Changing Needs of Customers This Holiday Shopping Season   •   The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Movio Reveal Research Determining the On-Screen to Cinema Audience Relationship   •   Attention Gen- Zers!! Help Make a Difference in Your Community with $2,500 from Pop-Tarts and United Way   •   Nutrition for Longevity Launches Ready Made Meals for Home Delivery   •   House Legislation Will Provide Programs to Support Coordinated, Comprehensive Care for U.S. Veterans with Prostate Cancer   •   Government Invests in Clean Energy Initiatives in Yukon   •   GEICO’s Lakeland Office Seeking Bilingual Associates   •   FAVER to Raise Early-Round Capital to Launch App Focused on Giving, Getting and Organizing Trusted Recommendations   •   CURE Media Group Announces Winners of the Inaugural 2020 Lung Cancer Heroes™ Awards   •   Safe Kids and Union Pacific Railroad Encourage Parents to Learn the Facts and Talk to Kids During National Rail Safety Week   •   Citi Private Bank Survey Finds Caution, Cash Conservation and COVID-19 Driving Investor Sentiment Into 2021   •   Tampa-based Senior Living operator, Inspired Living to launch first Independent Living brand, Inspirations at the Town Center   •   New Citi GPS Report Estimates $16 Trillion in Lost GDP Due to Racial Inequality in the United States   •   Sec. Mike Pompeo, Sen. Josh Hawley to Speak on First Night of Family Research Council Action's Values Voter Summit 2020   •   Laird Superfood Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering   •   5 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Honored at the Euromoney 'Women in Business Law Awards Americas' 2020   •   Dove And The Crown Coalition Applaud U.S. House Of Representatives Passing The Crown Act   •   FCNL Congratulates House on Savanna’s Act and Not Invisible Act Passage
Bookmark and Share

Supreme Court Restricts Miranda Rights

 

 Posted by Gary Redding, civilrights.org

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court dramatically reinterpreted its landmark Miranda decision by requiring criminal suspects to invoke their right to remain silent with a clear, explicit statement.

According to the Court, remaining silent or failing to cooperate, even during a long interrogation session, are no longer enough to stop any further questioning by law enforcement officials.

Berghuis, Warden v. Thompkins involved the case of Van Chester Thompkins, who was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, read his Miranda rights, and given an acknowledgement form that he refused to sign.  After remaining silent for close to three hours, an officer asked, "Do you believe in God?" and "Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?" Thompkins answered "Yes" to both questions.  Thompkins was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole based on his monosyllabic responses.

Thompkins filed suit, alleging that his Miranda rights had been violated.  Under the Court's decision, Thompkins' answer to the officer's question about religion constituted a waiver of his Miranda rights, even though he was silent for most of the interrogation.  

"A suspect who has received and understood the Miranda warnings, and has not invoked his Miranda rights, waives the right to remain silent by making an uncoerced statement to police," said Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority.

In a strongly worded dissent, which was joined by Justices Steven Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the newest justice on the Court, wrote:

"Today's decision turns Miranda upside down. Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counter intuitively, requires them to speak. At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded."

Criminal law professors on both left and right were critical of the opinion.  Civil rights groups said that the Court's decision is yet another example of how the Roberts Court is failing to take into account the effects of the law on ordinary people. 

On its blog yesterday, People For the American Way said:

"It's a perfect example of how the Roberts majority, while displaying remarkable ambivalence to the practical implications of its rulings, isn't just calling "balls and strikes"—it's going to bat for its own unprecedented agenda." 

Categories: Criminal Justice SystemJudiciary

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News