The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a teenager who allegedly implicated himself in a high-profile Maryland killing slaying but was not tried because state judges determined he was unfairly questioned by police, reports the Baltimore Sun. Experts say the case could lead to a further honing by the justices of the so-called “Miranda rights” familiar to viewers of police dramas.
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. asked the high court to intervene after the Maryland Court of Appeals threw out Leeander Jerome Blake’s statement to Annapolis police, ruling that officers improperly questioned him after he had invoked his right to remain silent and have a lawyer present. The question is whether the jailed Blake approached the detective voluntarily in late 2002 — which is permissible — or was frightened and prompted into giving a statement. The high has said that once a person in custody asks for a lawyer, police cannot question him about any criminal matter unless the suspect approaches the police. Yale Kamisar, a law professor at the University of San Diego, said the case could give the court an opportunity to chip away at defendants’ rights — which he called a “distinct possibility.”