Thursday, February 25, 2010

More on Miranda

As a follow up to my prior post regarding Miranda warnings in criminal matters, I am including further information. It appears that the floodgates have opened on Miranda warnings and modifications of this long-standing ruling will continue. This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled confessions should be admitted at trial in spite of custodial interrogations having been undertaken prior to the required notification of Miranda warnings. Bearing in mind I am not an expert in Florida law, I am aware that Florida's Miranda warning contains alternative wording that deviates from the established standards. In spite of the fact that Florida's alternative wording does not explicitly state that the suspect has a right to have counsel present during questioning, the Court, in Florida v. Powell, held that Florida's alternative wording of the Miranda warning is acceptable. In Maryland v. Shatzer, also heard this week, the Court ruled that police may initiate further interrogation of a suspect who has previously invoked their right to remain silent or have counsel present. The next Miranda case on the docket is Berghius v. Tompkins. Scheduled for argument March 1, 2010, Berghius v. Thompkins will address the issue of whether police can try to persuade a suspect, without coercion, to answer questions after the Miranda warning is given but before the suspect has invoked or waived the right.
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