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Miranda & Interrogations

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Answer the following 3 hypothetical questions using the cases discussed in Miranda & Interrogations Use the IRAC format to organize your answer (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion).
Reading below:
Interrogations can fall into a number of constitutional areas. A statement that is given under torture or less obvious methods of coercion is involuntary, and thus violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Sixth Amendment protects a defendant’s right to counsel and statements made in violation of this right can be excluded.
But most of the action in the law of interrogations is in the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
The 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona significantly changed the law on interrogations. This is the case in which the Supreme Court creates with the now-familiar Miranda warnings: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
When the Miranda warning refers to the right to an attorney, that right is derived from the Fifth Amendment, not the Sixth Amendment. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is not triggered until the initiation of an adversarial proceeding, such as an indictment, arraignment, or initial appearance in court. The Fifth Amendment protects the right against self-incrimination, meaning you cannot be compelled to testify and give evidence against yourself.
The court’s view in the Miranda was that interrogation is inherently coercive. The Miranda warnings are a signal, which if given properly, makes it far more likely that any confession or statement is given voluntarily. Cases are still reviewed based on the individual circumstances, but the court will always be looking to ensure that the statement is totally voluntary.
Any interrogation, questioning or the functional equivalent of that must stop after the defendant asks for an attorney or says she doesn’t want to talk to the police. A defendant may waive his or her rights after the Miranda warning, but the government has the burden of showing that waiver. The remedy for failure to give a Miranda warning is the exclusionary rule, but it is not a complete exclusion. Statements may still be admitted for impeachment purposes, in some circumstances.
Further, the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine does not apply to Miranda. The confession or statement may not be used in court; however, police may use it in their investigation. The court will not bar any additional evidence that police developed from the defendant’s statement.
There are two requirements to trigger the need for a Miranda warning—custody and interrogation. It is therefore important to understand how the courts interpret both of those terms.
Custody refers to a loss of liberty. If a defendant is free to leave, then no Miranda warning is required. For this reason, in-home interrogation is usually not enough to trigger the requirement to advise a suspect of his rights. But that can change if the defendant is in handcuffs or if the interrogation is lengthy. Police station interviews might be considered custodial, but not always. For instance, an interview with a probation officer does not require a Miranda warning. But interviews in jail are obviously in custody and most likely need a Miranda warning. As with other constitutional rights, if the interviewer is not a government actor then there is no Miranda warning necessary.
What does it mean to interrogate someone? Courts have interpreted the term to mean not only express questioning, such as an interview, but also to any words or actions on the part of the police that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect.
This rule was announced in the Supreme Court case of Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980). The defendant was picked up after robbing a taxi with a sawed-off shotgun. He was advised of his rights, said he understood his rights, and asked for a lawyer. The police transported the defendant to the station in a van with three officers. During the short drive, two of the officers voiced concern over the missing shotgun, noting that if children from a nearby school found it, someone might get hurt. The defendant then told the cops where the gun was located.
The issue in front of the Supreme Court was whether Innis’ statement was the result of an interrogation following his invocation of his right to counsel, and was thus inadmissible. In its decision, the Court said that Miranda warnings are triggered whenever a person in custody is questioned or subjected to the functional equivalent of an interview or interrogation. The term “interrogation” means any words or actions by police beyond what is normal and necessary upon arrest and custody, which the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the defendant.
Having crafted that rule, the court then applied it to the fact of Innis’ case and held that the defendant was not interrogated in violation of his Fifth Amendment rights, as he was not expressly questioned and the officers’ statements couldn’t be characterized as the functional equivalent of express questioning, as there was no reason the officers should have known that their conversation would prompt the defendant to make an incriminating response.
A defendant must knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his Miranda rights. The burden of proof for a valid waiver is on the government, which must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the warning was given and the rights were properly waived.
Invocation of rights
After a person asks for a lawyer, he or she is no longer subject to further interrogation by the authorities until counsel has been made available, unless the accused initiates further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police. Edwards v. Arizona (1981).
Ordinarily, the right to silence and the right to a lawyer are invoked at the same time. Either one is supposed to stop the interrogation. Michigan v. Mosley, 423 U.S. 96 (1975).
Public safety exception to Miranda
There is a public safety exception to the Miranda requirement. This exception arose out of New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649 (1984), where police were searching for a man suspected of just having assaulted a woman. The police tracked a man who matched the woman’s descriiption into a store, stopped and frisked him. When the police saw the man was wearing an empty shoulder holster, they asked, “Where’s the gun?” Quarles nodded toward some empty cartons on a shelf and said, “the gun’s over there.” The officer then “retrieved a loaded .38–caliber revolver from one of the cartons, formally placed respondent under arrest, and read him his Miranda rights from a printed card.” Id. at 652. The officer then read Quarles his rights, asked him if he owned the gun, and where had he purchased it.
The trial court excluded Quarles’ initial pre-Miranda statement, “the gun’s over there,” as the product of an in-custody interrogation. But on appeal, the Supreme Court held the statement was admissible, finding that in this circumstance a concern for public safety overrode the adherence to the literal language of the law.
Similarly, some courts recognize a rescue doctrine, which permits an officer looking for a kidnapping victim or someone else who needs help to question someone under similar circumstances.
1.Walt is suspected of running a fraud scheme involving bogus “work at home” offers. Officers investigating the case have attempted to interview him at his office, but Walt has avoided them. The officers see Walt on the street one evening and approach him to talk, but Walt runs away. The officers catch up with him quickly, draw their guns, and yell at him to freeze and put his hands up. He complies. After the officers frisk him, they put their weapons away and ask why he ran. Walt says, “I know you think I’m running this operation, but I’m not. I’m just a worker and it wasn’t even my idea to lie to the clients.”
Can this statement be admitted at Walt’s trial, even though he was not advised of his rights at the time? Use the IRAC format to fully explain your answer.
2. Instead of the scenario in #1, assume that the officers go to Walt’s home early one morning before work. He lets them come in and they question him regarding his involvement in the fraud scheme. Walt makes some incriminating statements during the short interview before the officers leave. Walt is arrested a month later.
Can any of his statements during the interview be admitted at trial, even though he was not advised of his Miranda rights? Answer using the IRAC format.
3.Walt is later arrested at his home. The police have a search warrant for his house. Walt is handcuffed and is read his Miranda rights. He asks for a lawyer. While waiting for an officer to transport Walt to the station, he remains sitting on the couch while officers continue to search his house. During the search, two officers discuss that they’ve got enough evidence against Walt’s girlfriend, Becky, for conspiracy to commit fraud because she worked in the same office. Shortly after hearing this, Walt tells the lead detective that Becky has nothing to do with the scam and he then admits that it was all his idea.
Are Walt’s post-invocation statements admissible at trial? Why or why not? Use IRAC to format your answer. (Hint: Read ahead to Rhode Island v. Innis.) reading could be found online.
3 questions above, along with the reading attached.

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