Chapter 16-Confessions and admissions: Cases affirming Miranda Flashcards Preview

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Prior to Miranda, the test for admissibility was

whether the admission or confession was voluntary or involuntary, done on a case by case basis


Under Miranda, test consists of three questions

1. were Miranda warnings given by the police
2. was there a waiver by the suspect
3. if there was a waiver, was the waiver voluntary and intelligent


Miranda warnings must be given whenever there is

a custodial interrogation


custodial means

suspect is under arrest or is deprived of his or her freedom in a significant way



denotes that the suspect is asked questions by police that are likely to elicit an incriminating response.


"harmless error" doctrine

applies to the admissibility of confessions. Conviction is not automatically reversed, instead, it will only be reverses if there was no reasonable possibility that a different result would have been reached without the confession.


wrongful admission by trial court judge of the confession amounts to harmless error,

conviction is affirmed


if error is harmful

conviction is reversed.


appellate court, determines whether the error by trial judge was

harmless or harmful


Miranda governs the admissibility in Federal and State courts of confessions and admissions and any law passed by Congress that seeks to overturn the Miranda decision is unconstitutional

Dickerson v United States, 2000


Confessions obtained as a result of coercion and brutality are not admissible in court

Brown v Mississippi,1936
Brown was hanged, beaten, jailed, beaten until he confessed.
This case was decided by the Court in 1936 before the Fifth Amend right against self-incrimination was made applicable to the states. Instead of using the 5th, Court used the due process clause of 14 Amend, because 14th has always applied to state criminal proceedings. If decided today, the evidence would be excluded on the exclusionary rule


evidence obtained by police during custodial interrogation of a suspect is not admissible in court to prove guilt unless the suspect was given the Miranda warning and there is a valid waiver

Miranda v Arizona, 1966
Miranda was 23 yrs old, poor, completed one-half of ninth grade. He was interrogated for 2 hrs, until written confession for rape and kidnapping


Most widely known case ever to be decided by US Supreme Court



Supporters of Miranda decision hail it as

properly protective of individual rights 5-4 split among the justices


an accused who, after having been given the Miranda warnings, invokes the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present, cannot be interrrogated further by police until lawyer is made available.

Edwards v Arizona, 1981


Miranda rule applies to misd offenses. Does not apply to roadside questioning of motorist detained pursuant to a routine traffic stop

Berkemer v McCarty, 1984
McCarty stopped for traffic . Officer told him he was going to jail on traffic charges, terminating his freedom to leave the scene. officer then asked McCarty questions.


police should not initiate an interrogation after the defendant has asserted his right to counsel at arraignment or similar proceedings

Michigan v Jackson, 1986
Jackson arraigned for being a participant who carried out a wifes plan to kill her husband. At arraignment, Jackson requested the assistance of attorney and one was appointed to him. following morning, officers contacted him, mirandized him and gave a statement confirming he was the murderer. statement was invalid.


an accused who has invoked his right to counsel may not be subjected to police-initiated interrogation even if the interrogation concerns a different crime.

Arizona v Roberson, 1988
arrested for burglary. mirandized, wanted to speak with attorney. 3 days later, different officer contacted Roberson, unaware of Roberson s request for attorney, mirandized him and obtained statements concerning another crime.
Statements are invalid. Edwards rule applies to bar police initiated interrogation following suspects request for counsel.


Once a suspect requests a lawyer, the interrogation must stop-whether the suspect confers with the lawyer or not

Minnick v Mississippi, 1990
minnick and another prisoner escape jail, burglarize a home, kill the arriving owner. Minnick arrested in California, mirandized by FBI, refused to sign a waiver form, but made incriminating statements. Days later minnick met with his appointed attorney. 2 days later, Mississippi officers arrived to interview minnick, again refused to sign the waiver.


the "harmless error" doctrine applies to cases involving the admissibility of involuntary confessions.

Arizona v Fulminante, 1991
Fulminante suspected of murdering his step daughter.Fulminante left Arizona for New Jersey, where he was later convicted on unrelated federal weapon charge. While incarcerated, a fellow inmate, paid informant, offered protection for Fulminante in exchange for truth. Fulminante admitted to inmate that he murdered his step daughter. Admission was coerced . conviction was reversed, because the error was harmful.


this court made it clear that before a federal constitutional error can be held harmless, the court must be able to declare a belief that it was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt

Chapman v California,


Case of Miranda v Arizona governs the admissibility in federal and state courts of confessions and admissions given during a custodial interrogation by police. Any law passed by Congress that seeks to overturn the Miranda decision is unconstitutional.

Dickerson v United States, 2000
Dickerson was arrested and made incriminating statements to police. Dickerson's statements were voluntary but the miranda was not given. Federal Dist Court granted motion to suppress statement, but Crt of Appeals overturned it, stating that 18 USC Section 3501, passed by Congress in response to Miranda decision, prevailed and only required a finding by court that confessions was given voluntarily. Supreme court held it was unconstitutional. Supreme court has supervisory authority over federal courts.


congress may not legislatively supersede Supreme Court decisions interpreting and applying the Constitution.

Dickerson case


Miranda is a constitutional rule, not just a rule of evidence and therefore it cannot be undone by legislation

US Supreme Court


a confession must be suppressed if obtained during a detention where officers did not have probable cause for an arrest and where the detention amounted to the functional equivalent of arrest

Kaupp v Texas, 2003
disappearance of a girl focused on her half-brother and Kaupp. awakened at 3:00am, officer handcuffed Kaupp and told him they needed to talk. taken to police station and gave statement. confession was inadmissible


proper standard to be used when determining whether statements made by a defendant after an indictment are admissible in court is the 6th Amend right to counsel, not the 5th Amend privilege against self-incrimination

Fellers v United States, 2004
Fellers was under indictment. offices went to his home and arrested him on warrant but also asked questions concerning other individuals involved. officers violated the 6th Amend, right to counsel, in that it was the "fruit" of an unlawful interrogation at his home and therefore should be excluded even if Miranda was given. Court agreed, saying in previous cases, this Court has consistently applied the deliberate-elicitation standard.


deliberate-elicitation standard

deliberately eliciting information


giving Miranda warning after the police purposefully obtain an unwarned confession violates Miranda rule; therefore statements mades even after Miranda warning are given are not admissible

Missouri v Seibert,2004
Seibert tried to conceal the death of your son who had cerebral palsy, feared charges of neglect because of bedsores on his body. Planned to burn family home down with deceased son inside. Mentally ill teenager died in fire as well. After arrest, Seibert was interrogated who gave statement. After a break, Miranda was given and resumed interrogation. Statements inadmissible.


"question-first" technique of interrogation

this practive was used by police training organizations, such as the Police Law Institute. Interrogate first, obtain confession, then Mirandize and then resume interrogation.Violates Miranda and evidence inadmissible. Earlier case,Oregon v Elstad, Court admitted a confession obtained after police gave Miranda- even though suspect had previously made statements before warning.


Oregon v Eslstad

distinctions between Elstad and Seibert. In Elstad, court looked at the completeness and detail of the question and answeres in first round of interrogation , the overlapping content of two statements, timing and setting of the first and second statements.