Suspect’s Silence On Miranda Allows Hours of Questioning


The net practical effect of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in a Miranda-rights case from Michigan is likely to be that police, in the face of a suspect's continued silence after being given Miranda warnings, can continue to question him, even for a couple of hours, in hopes eventually of getting him to confess, says Lyle Denniston of ScotusBlog.

Although it probably will take years for police to decide how and whether they want to take advantage of the new ruling, Denniston said, one curious facet of the decision was that a number of police manuals do explicitly require more of questioning officers than the Court's decision now does. Many of those manuals, it appears, tell police that they should not do any questioning at all until they have obtained an explicit waiver of the suspect's rights. It is now clear that that is not constitutionally required.

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