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Homeland Security can’t use Miranda warning

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rick_reno, Aug 6, 2005.

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  1. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    It's good to know that DHS is after these terrorists.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8843001/

    Homeland Security can’t use Miranda warning
    Ruling in alleged coke smugglers’ case may have impact on terror suspects

    Updated: 11:46 p.m. ET Aug. 5, 2005
    MIAMI - A federal judge ruled unconstitutional a Miranda rights warning that Homeland Security agents used to interrogate drug-smuggling suspects, prompting the agency to make sure a legally sufficient warning is used nationwide.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow ruled that statements made by four men accused of smuggling cocaine aboard a cruise ship could not be introduced in court because the Miranda warning failed to spell out that they could have an attorney present during — not just before — interrogation by authorities.

    "From a legal standpoint, the warnings on the Homeland Security form are ambiguous, at best," Snow said in her 16-page decision.

    The ruling in Fort Lauderdale was issued July 26 but not made public until Friday by Miami defense attorney Ellis Rubin, who brought successful challenges to similar flaws in police Miranda warnings in Broward County.

    Ruling could affect terrorist suspects
    Rubin said the ruling could jeopardize statements given to interrogators in numerous other cases, including those involving suspected terrorists, illegal aliens and other drug smugglers.

    "I think there's going to be a lot more," Rubin said. "Somebody has to tell these people, 'Hey, wise up.'"

    The Miranda warning comes from the 1966 decision requiring police to warn suspects they have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present when answering questions.

    In a statement issued Friday in Washington, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of Homeland Security said that the Miranda warning its agents used in Miami differed from the one that had been approved.

    The statement said that after the ruling, Immigration and Customs Enforcement "took immediate action to ensure that every single field office in the country is using the proper Miranda form in both English and Spanish."
     
  2. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    We have GOT to get rid of that damn Miranda warning!

    The Miranda ruling has been the cause of many innocent people going to jail because their coerced confessions were upheld simply because the accused had been read his rights. On the flip side, many victims’ rights have been violated when confessed perpetrators are let go because there was some problem with reading the Miranda rights, as with the smugglers.

    The Miranda warning is like the NYC searches...can’t possibly do what it was intended to do.

    The Fifth Amendment protection that Miranda is supposed to address is against compelled testimony. The very definition of a compelled testimony is testimony that is given against a person’s will. What good is it to know that you have the right to remain silent when you’re being coerced into confessing?

    What the Supreme Court unwittingly did was to place the burden of the protection of our right against compelled testimony upon the shoulders of the accused. That’s not where it should be. The burden of protecting our rights is on the government.

    The Supreme Court essentially invalidated the concept of compelled testimony. Now, all testimony given after the reading of Miranda rights is considered voluntary, whether or not false promises were made or a gun was held to your head. Apparently, you’re suppose to allow yourself to be killed before confessing.

    Any other act where a person is physically or psychologically forced to do something against his will is considered a crime. If the accused make a claim that his confession was coerced, it should be investigated as a criminal act. That’s not what happens today. In today’s court such a claim is simply given a summary judgment based on whether Miranda warnings were given properly. This has got to change.
     
  3. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    Maybe they should have the Bill of Rights posted in the police cars, interview rooms, and jail cells , highlight the 5th Amendment, where ALL can read it and do it in English.
     
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Greystar, I can't at all follow your argument.

    The Miranda warning advises one of one's rights. That's all one is owed by the establishment: Being informed of one's rights. After that, the status of the accused is that of any adult at any time, responsible for his behavior.

    "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." It seems to me that that sentence oughta be more than enough to put a zipper on your mouth and keep it there, even if an attorney isn't present. The government itsownself is telling you to ****. What more do you want? :D

    Art
     
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    Even if the Miranda admonishment is given, the confession has to be truly voluntary. If the accused invokes Miranda by choosing to be silent or requests his attorney, and police continue to hound the accused through continued interrogation, threats, promises of leniency, etc., then any confession derived from such tactics is considered to be coerced.

    What you are suggesting is all the police have to do is read the Miranda admonishment, then they are free to beat the accused with a rubber hose until he confesses.

    Pilgrim
     
  6. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    You'all seem to be missing the real issue. The HS people in Florida were using some bastardized version of Miranda that didn't conform to the official boilerplate version that has been tested and approved in court after court. They were winging it and got caught. The BG's are going to get off because HS was stupid! Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  7. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    You are totally disregarding the meaning of “compelled.” The very definition of a compelled testimony is testimony that is given against a person’s will. What good is it knowing that you don’t have to confess when you’re being forced to? The primary problem is people that believe that any testimony given after reading your rights has to be voluntary because you were read your rights. There is ample evidence that this is not the case. Police continue to use psychological pressure to get people to admit to things they didn’t do.

    Don’t you read the papers? There have been 160 people freed from jail because they were wrongly convicted, and two executions are now under investigation. Innocents is no guarantee that you’re not going to jail. When you’re sittin’ wrongly accused of murder, and the cops are telling you they’ve got two witnesses that have positively identified you and that you’re going to jail for the rest of your life, and your lawyer is advising you to cut a deal...what do you do???
     
  8. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    What do you mean "suggesting"?? It's happening!! This is the primary problem.

    As you said, the confession has to be truly voluntary. However, with Miranda the determination of whether a confession is voluntary has changed. Before Miranda it was based on the circumstances of the confession. Miranda was basically tortured for a week before confessing. After Miranda the determination is based solely on whether the accused was read his rights.

    The state is supposed to protect our rights...including the right of the accused to not be compelled to testify. However, that’s not what happens anymore. After the accused is Mirandized, it’s open season on him until he asked for his lawyer. When his lawyer shows up, it’s open season again.
     
  9. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    That's the issue of the Florida case. The broader, more serious issue is that government is shirking its job of protecting the rights of the accused and leaving the accused to fend for himself.

    To believe that reading a person his rights is enough to protect those rights, is to ignore the history of compelled testimony.
     
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    Nope. SCOTUS has ruled that once the accused has invoked his right to silence and/or an attorney, the police can't continue the interrogation. If the police continue to interrogate they may very well lose everything they gain as a result of that interrogation. See Edwards vs Arizona (1981), Minnick v. Mississippi (1991), Arizona v. Roberson (1988).

    In Oregon v. Bradshaw (1983), SCOTUS found a knowing waiver of Miranda occurs when the police make no threats, promises, or inducements to talk; and the defendant was properly advised of his rights and understood them.

    Pilgrim
     
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    From Graystar: "Police continue to use psychological pressure to get people to admit to things they didn’t do."

    Built into your statement is the idea that the suspect didn't call for a lawyer. SFAIK, lawyers don't allow this psychological pressuring of a client.

    I doubt that the police are looking for that confession unless they believe the suspect is guilty. The courts have held that psychological pressure, including lying to the suspect, is legal. And if the police believe the suspect is indeed guilty, isn't it their job to seek a confession?

    Where does one's personal responsibility to oneself end?

    We're told that we're unending sets of "TV Generations". Cop shows all over TV keep showing guys being read their Miranda rights. It's pretty hard NOT to know something about the whole deal, even if you're a tad into the shallow end of the gene pool.

    I'm less concerned about the investigating folks than I am about the prosecutorial types who ignore exculpatory evidence.

    Art
     
  12. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    Yeah...and criminals will register their guns.

    The teenagers of the Central Park Jogger case in NY were read their rights and they had asked for lawyers. The cops told each of them individually that he would be free to leave if he would “give up” his friends. Each (except for one) did just that. The collection of accusations, with each accuser blaming all others except himself, was submitted as a form of group confession. They were all convicted upon the strength of those accusations/confessions, even thought they were tricked into making those statements after they had asked for lawyers, and even though several recanted at trial.

    Just as easily as requesting a lawyer, the accused can rescind his request and decide to talk to police. Why would he do that? Psychological pressure. For example, he could be told that if he rescinds his request for a lawyer and talk to them, they will be able to “work things out.” But once he talks to a lawyer all bets are off and they would have no choice but to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law (that catchy phrase that we’ve all heard on TV.) The story is crap, but may sway someone whose has read about the number of innocent people that have been jailed.
    Once again, this is EXACTLY the kind of abuse I’m talking about. You, and the court, believe that simply understanding your right to enough to protect those rights. You both are absolutely wrong.

    First of all, there is no right to remain silent in the Fifth Amendment. The right specified is the right to not be compelled to be a witness against oneself in a criminal case. This right is NOT fully explained in the Miranda warning. The right that you have is in essence, freedom from compulsion, and it is the *police* that needs to fully understand this right...not the accused because it is the police that applies compulsive pressure upon the accused.
     
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    I see that you have a great future in law school. Please let the members of THR know when you pass the bar exam.

    Pilgrim
     
  14. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    In my response to Pilgrim I tell how the teens in the Central Park Jogger case were coerced into making statement even after they asked for lawyers.

    That statement makes no sense. By definition, the police think that a suspect is guilty...because they *suspect* him.

    Again, you’re making the same exact misunderstanding that everyone else is making. For some reason, which has absolutely no basis in history or science, you believe that simply knowing that you have the right to remain silent will prevent you from being compelled to speak. You are wrong (and in the cases of at least two people, dead wrong.)

    You may think now that nothing can make you say you did it when you didn’t, but when you’re sitting in a cage with a prosecutor telling you he’s got two credible witnesses that say you stabbed the clerk dead, and your lawyer is advising that you take the 6 years in prison ‘cause you’ll probably end up losing and going to jail for life...I will bet anything that you won’t be quite so resolute.
     
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    "I will bet anything that you won’t be quite so resolute."

    That's a guaranteed loss.

    :), Art
     
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    Greystar,

    Let me let you in on a little secret. When I arrested someone, I didn't care if they confessed or not. I had already collected enough evidence and information to develop the probable cause for the arrest. I was convinced the district attorney would see it my way and prosecute the defendant. For the most part the district attorney did file and prosecute.

    It was not worth risking my career, my reputation, and my freedom to threaten, coerce, or beat a prisoner to get a confession.

    Pilgrim
     
  17. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    Not in the Central Park Jogger case, nor in any other case I've heard of where an innocent person was jailed from a coerced confession, have the people involved lost their job, so the chances of being fired appears to be very low.
     
  18. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    Well, let's hope we never find out.
     
  19. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Absurdity.

    If the confession was, in fact, coerced, any competent attorney will be able to have it suppressed, regardless of the reading of Miranda. I'm not saying that it is not possible to cover up actual coercion, but assertions like these of systematic abuses are meaningless without hard facts to back them up. Can you prove that in limited instances cops have coerced suspects? Absolutely. That's many steps removed from calling it a systematic problem. I can provide limited instances of gun owners committing murder- please turn in your guns now. See where I'm going with this?

    As Pilgrim said, the vast majority of cops like their job and their house too much to risk it to obtain the conviction of someone they barely know for the crime of doing something to someone they do not know at all.

    Mike
     
  20. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Graystar, I know Art personally. Tell you what, I'll take your bet on anytime that he's charged with anything. You've agreed to bet anything...my call?

    Oh, yeah, I've been there and done that with the prosecutor stating they have eyewitnesses. I told them that their eyewitnesses were hallucinating. After being presented with my eyewitnesses that had me elsewhere and who were much cleaner personally than the prosecution's witnesses and being presented with the identity of the true perpetrator who looks just like me from across the street, the prosecution caved. A large part of successfully defending yourself involves the gumption to tell the prosecution to go urinate up a rope.
     
  21. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    From your description it sounds like an even larger part of defending yourself was proving you were innocent.
     
  22. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    On what basis are you making this statement? Is there some historical evidence to support this?
     
  23. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    So what's the alternative? Do you compel suspects to remain silent?
     
  24. DMF

    DMF Member

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    Not true in the least. Merely reading Miranda does not guarantee a confession will be considered voluntary. This has been hashed out MANY times in the courts, and every time the circumstances are considered.

    As part of the response to your quote above and your question to Coronach:
    I suggest you read the Supreme Court decisions in Minnick v. Mississippi (1990), Smith v. Illinois (1984), Michigan v. Moseley (1975). Those are just three of the big cases (obviously since they were ulitmately decided at the Supreme Court of the US), however confessions are often challenged in the lower courts, and the circumstances beyond the mere reading of the Miranda warnings are considered. There is about 4 decades of court decisions considering the suppression of confessions, and all consider the circumstances beyond the mere reading of the warnings, and confessions have been suppressed when it is has been determined they were not voluntary.
     
  25. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    The idea is that you don't compel at all.
     
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