The age and experience of a juvenile suspect need not be considered in deciding whether he must be warned by police of his constitutional rights during questioning, the Supreme Court said today by a 5-4 vote, reports Reuters. The justices overturned a ruling that the age and experience of a 17-year-old suspect must be taken into account in determining whether to tell him he is formally in police custody and has the right to remain silent. Under the 1966 Miranda ruling, suspects must be told they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say can be used against them, that they can have a lawyer present, and that a lawyer will be appointed if they cannot afford one.
In a victory for the prosecution, the justices said a state court reached the “reasonable conclusion” that Miranda did not apply in the case because the suspect was not in custody during his police interview. The case involved a 1995 California murder investigation.