The Supreme Court today approved Florida’s version of the Miranda rights warning, despite complaints that it wasn’t clear a suspect could have a lawyer present during questioning, reports the Associated Press. The 7-2 ruling that restored Kevin Dwayne Powell’s conviction is the first of several the court is due to make this year clarifying what the long-established Miranda rights require police to do.
Powell was convicted of illegally possessing a firearm. Before his confession, he signed a statement that included the words, “You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of our questions. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed for you without cost and before any questioning. You have the right to use any of these rights at any time you want during this interview.” The Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction, saying police did not explicitly tell him he had a right to a lawyer during his interrogation.