Supreme Court Loosens Miranda Restrictions

Writing for the LA Times, David Savage reports that the Supreme Court has abrogated what was known as the Edwards rule and has ruled that if a suspect has been released from custody after having invoked the Miranda rule, he may be questioned again after the passage of 14 days and any incriminating statement he makes may be used against him in court:
A crime suspect who invokes his "right to remain silent" under the famous Miranda decision can be questioned again after 14 days, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. And if he freely agrees to talk then, his incriminatory statements can be used against him.

In a 9-0 decision in a Maryland child-abuse case, the high court overturned a strict rule set in 1981 that barred police from questioning a suspect once he had asked to remain silent and to speak with a lawyer. Known as the "Edwards rule," it was intended to prevent investigators from "badgering" a suspect who was held in jail after he had invoked his Miranda rights. In some cases, police had awakened a suspect in the middle of the night and asked him again to waive his rights and to admit to a crime.

Although that rule makes sense for suspects who are held in jail, it does not make sense for suspects who have gone free, the justices said Wednesday. In recent years, it has been understood to prevent police from ever re-questioning a freed suspect, even for other crimes in other places.
Writing for the LA Times, David Savage reports that the Supreme Court has abrogated what was known as the Edwards rule and has ruled that if a suspect has been released from custody after having invoked the Miranda rule, he may be questioned again after the passage of 14 days and any incriminating statement he makes may be used against him in court:
A crime suspect who invokes his "right to remain silent" under the famous Miranda decision can be questioned again after 14 days, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. And if he freely agrees to talk then, his incriminatory statements can be used against him.

In a 9-0 decision in a Maryland child-abuse case, the high court overturned a strict rule set in 1981 that barred police from questioning a suspect once he had asked to remain silent and to speak with a lawyer. Known as the "Edwards rule," it was intended to prevent investigators from "badgering" a suspect who was held in jail after he had invoked his Miranda rights. In some cases, police had awakened a suspect in the middle of the night and asked him again to waive his rights and to admit to a crime.

Although that rule makes sense for suspects who are held in jail, it does not make sense for suspects who have gone free, the justices said Wednesday. In recent years, it has been understood to prevent police from ever re-questioning a freed suspect, even for other crimes in other places.

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