‘Miranda’ dealt one-two punch by high court

By , February 25, 2010 4:42 pm

It has not been a good week for the famed Miranda warning at the hands of the Supreme Court.

In decisions issued on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Court ruled that confessions should be admitted at trial even when police interviewed suspects in circumstances that lower courts viewed as Miranda violations.

The Court on Wednesday issued Maryland v. Shatzer, establishing new, more permissive rules for police who want to question a suspect for a second time after the suspect invokes Miranda's right to remain silent.

The Maryland case came down a day after the justices decided Florida v. Powell, in which a 7-2 majority Court said that Florida's alternative wording of the Miranda warning is acceptable, even though it does not explicitly state that a suspect has a right to have a lawyer present during questioning.

Stanford Law School professor Jeffrey Fisher said the rulings continue the Court's trend of “extreme hostility toward constitutional rules that require the exclusion of evidence — especially confessions and the product of illegal searches — from criminal trials.” Fisher, who heads a National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) committee that files amicus briefs at the high court, said, “In short, this Court sees the costs and benefits of rules designed to curb police overreaching entirely differently than the Court did a generation ago. ”

Sidley Austin partner Jeffrey Green, who also assists NACDL and other defense lawyers in high court arguments, added, “At this rate, what's left [of Miranda] will be only what we see on TV.”

via ‘Miranda’ dealt one-two punch by high court.

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