Supreme Court: Miranda Warnings Only Apply When Invoked
Thompkins' silence during the interrogation did not invoke his right to remain silent. A suspect's Miranda right to counsel must be invoked "unambiguously." If the accused makes an "ambiguous or equivocal" statement or no statement, the police are not required to end the interrogation, or ask questions to clarify the accused's intent. Thompkins did not say that he wanted to remain silent or that he did not want to talk to police ... Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his 'right to cut off questioning.'Justices Sotomayor, Stevens, Ginsburg and Breyer dissented, contending that the ruling turned Americans' Miranda rights "upside down." Related Resources:
- Full Opinion: Berghius v. Thompkins (FindLaw)
- Right To Remain Silent? Better Speak Up - Crime & Courts (AP)
- Analysis: Tilting Miranda toward the police (SCOTUS Blog)
- 14 Days: Supreme Court Sets Miranda Deadline (FindLaw's Decided)
- Berghuis v. Thompkins Explained (FindLaw's LawBrain)
- Miranda v. Arizona Explained (FindLaw's LawBrain)
- Criminal Defense FAQ (provided by Law Offices of Paul E. Antill)
- Glossary of Criminal Terms (provided by The Sprano Law Firm, LLP)
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