Monday, April 22, 2013

Boston Bombing Suspect Not Given Miranda Warnings

Students have most certainly been following the pursuit and capture of the Boston Marathon Bombers.  The media has reported that the lone suspect in custody will not be given the normally ubiquitous "Miranda Warnings."  Seizing the teachable moment, this may be a good opportunity to discuss the Miranda Warnings.

The warning is required to be given to persons "in custody" with relation to a criminal matter prior to that suspect's interrogation.  But,as described in the video below, the government here is claiming an exception. Students are sometimes confused about the effects of failing to give the warnings.  Students sometimes think that it is a technical defect that requires release of the defendant.  But the warning of a right to remain silent, only affect the evidentiary use of statements made by the defendant while in custody without having been properly warned of the right to remain silent and that were coerced form him or her.  If sufficient evidence independent of the defendant's statements and not derived from them exist, then prosecution to conviction may proceed.

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