Police must tell indicted people of their rights before starting interrogations, the Supreme Court said yesterday. The Associated Press said the justices ruled unanimously in favor of a Nebraska man who claimed he was tricked into talking to officers who arrested him on drug charges. Some analysts had feared the court would use the case to erode its 1966 Miranda ruling that requires warnings to suspects.
The American Bar Association urged the court to clarify that people facing charges must be told they have a right to see an attorney. The case may discourage officers from trying to elicit confessions from suspects facing charges. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said that officers violated John Fellers’ rights by eliciting information in a 15-minute talk in his home without telling him he could see an attorney.
It was the first of four cases involving Miranda rulings that the high court is expected to decide this year.