The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday threw out a prosecutors’ appeal and passed on an opportunity to clarify one of the Miranda warnings that govern police interrogations, reports the Baltimore Sun. Just two weeks after hearing oral arguments, the justices dismissed the case involving a youth accused of murdering a businessman near the Maryland State Capitol. They avoided the question of whether police could restore a suspect’s rights once they have been violated and, if so, whether they did in this case. Police obtained an allegedly incriminating statement from the then-17-year-old after he requested, then waived, his right to an attorney.
Leeander Jerome Blake had been charged with carjacking and fatally shooting Straughan Griffin as Griffin was unloading his sport utility vehicle in front of his home in September 2002. Blake cannot be retried. Experts thought the high court might use the Blake case to rein in or clarify Miranda rights. Instead, the justices “are saying they made a mistake when they took the case,” said Yale Kamisar, a law professor at the University of San Diego and the University of Michigan and an authority on Miranda, the 1966 Supreme Court ruling to prevent coerced confessions.