<< Sins of Omission | Main | News Scan >>

Decision in Maryland v. Shatzer

The U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Maryland v. Shatzer (08-680) today.  The opinion is available here.  Our brief in the case is available here

The decision recognizes an exception to the requirement in Edwards v. Arizona that an officer must cease interrogation once a suspect invoked his right to counsel, and established that a "break in custody" permits the police to resume questioning a suspect who had previously asked for a lawyer.  Seven members of the Court agreed that if the "break in custody" lasts more than 14 days between interrogations, Edwards did not require suppression of the confession.  Justices Thomas and Stevens did not join the 14-day rule.

Update: Tony Mauro has this story for the NLJ: "'Miranda' dealt one-two punch by high court"


This 14-day rule can cause all kinds of mischief (I had always believed a "nonpretextual" release from custody started Miranda over again on a new taking into custody). Now one department may arrest for a misdemeanor, defendant exercises Miranda counsel right, is released without charge, a week later another department develops probable cause for arrest for a murder, arrests, Mirandizes, gets waiver and confession, and the confession will be excluded because unbeknowst to them the defendant requested counsel on the earlier arrest. Doesn't seem right to me, especially given that the Fifth Amendment is about voluntariness.

Somewhat off-topic, but here's a freshly minted voluntariness of confession case from the Ninth.

Leave a comment

Monthly Archives