Evolution of Miranda Rights

| Aug 4, 2010 | Criminal Defense |

An article written in “Voice for the Defense” indicated that Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that treating an ambiguous or equivocal act, omission, or statement as an invocation of Miranda rights “might add marginally to Miranda’s goal of dispelling the compulsion inherent in custodial interrogation,” but “as Miranda holds, full comprehension of the rights to remain silent and request an attorney are sufficient to dispel whatever coercion is inherent in the interrogation process.”

A defendant in the Thompkins case did not say that he wanted to remain silent or that he did not want to talk with the police.  Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his “right to cut off questioning.”  Here he did neither, so he did not invoke his right to remain silent.