Supreme Court limits ability to enforce Miranda rights

Supreme court limited ability to implement Miranda rights A ruling said Thursday that suspects not warned of their right to remain silent cannot sue a police officer for damages under federal civil rights law, even if they have their criminal charges against them. Evidence used in the trial.

The court’s decision would cut into a person’s protection against self-incrimination by preventing the ability to receive damages. It also means that failure to administer a warning will not expose a law enforcement officer to potential harm in a civil lawsuit. However, this shall not affect the exclusion of such evidence in a criminal trial.

The court clarified that while the Miranda warning protects a constitutional right, the warning itself is not a right that would trigger the ability to bring a civil suit.

“Today’s decision does not relieve Miranda’s authority,” said CNN Supreme Court analyst and University of Texas School of Law professor Steve Vladeck. “But this makes it far more difficult to enforce. Under this ruling, Miranda’s only remedy for violation is to suppress statements received from a suspect who has not been properly advised of his right to remain silent. But if the case never goes to trial, or if the government never chooses to use the statement, or if the statement is accepted despite Miranda infringement, then there is no remedy for the government’s misconduct.

Justice Samuel Alito, joined by five other Republican-appointed judges, said that the violation of Miranda’s authority “is not in itself a violation of the Fifth Amendment,” and that “we would like to extend Miranda’s right to sue.” see no justification,” under the relevant statute.

Justice Elena Kagan, joined by other liberal judges, said the court’s ruling was stripping “individuals of the ability to seek a remedy for the violation of a right recognized in Miranda”.

“The majority here, as elsewhere, hurt the right by refusing to remedy,” she said.

The case involved Terence Tekoh, a hospital employee who was accused of sexually assaulting a still female patient at a local hospital in 2014.

The issue was not whether a defendant should have read his Miranda rights, but whether he could sue an officer for damages if he does not receive a Miranda warning for the evidence presented in the criminal proceedings. Lower courts are divided on the issue.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Carlos Vega questioned Tekoh, although he failed to read his rights as required by the 1966 precedent of Miranda v. Arizona, where the court held that a defendant was warned of a “right to remain silent.” Should be known Under that precedent, without Miranda’s warning, criminal trial courts are generally barred from accepting self-incrimination statements made while a defendant is in custody.

Tekoh eventually confessed to the crime, was tried and acquitted – even after presenting his confession at trial. Later, he sued the officer under a federal law, Section 1983, which allows for damages against a government official for violation of constitutional rights.

The parties disagreed as to whether Vega had used coercive techniques to elicit an involuntary confession.

Vega’s lawyers said that Tekoh’s statement was purely consensual and voluntary, and that he was not technically “in custody” at the time, while Tekoh’s lawyers argued that he was intimidated into confessing in a windowless room. went.

Vega’s attorney Roman Martinez said Tekoh could not bring his claim because establishing a violation of Miranda does not establish a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

“Miranda creates a procedural rule that prevents prosecutors from presenting—and courts—from accepting certain uninformed statements as part of a prosecution’s case-in-chief in a criminal trial,” Martinez wrote in court papers. I argued.

For Martinez, the Miranda warning is a constitutional rule, not a right, and the trial cannot proceed under that interpretation. “Miranda does not prohibit the making of unsolicited statements; it only prohibits the subsequent entry of such statements into the trial,” argued Martinez.

He said an appeals court ruling that went in Tekoh’s favor “would inflict an extraordinary burden on police departments across the country with regard to legal and proper investigative work.” Any police liaison, according to Martinez, can lead to a private trial “even where the police officer acted perfectly legally.”

The Biden administration sided with Vega.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Preloger argued in court papers, “Since the Miranda Rule concerns the production of evidence at trial, a suspect cannot sue a police officer for violating that rule under Section 1983.”

Tekoh’s lawyers argued that Vega refused to accept Tekoh’s refusal and that “having put his shotgun on,” Vega threatened Tekoh and his family members to report immigration. Tekoh has a green card, and deportation could lead to persecution in Cameroon.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: