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US v. Cook, No. 08-2297

By FindLaw Staff on April 05, 2010 1:43 PM

US v. Cook, No. 08-2297, involved a prosecution for various offenses arising out of a prison murder.  The Tenth Circuit reversed the grant of defendant's motion suppressing his statement to a jailhouse informant, holding that defendant was completely unaware that he was in the presence of a government agent when he made the suppressed statement and Miranda and its progeny were directed at the prevention of pressure and coercion in custodial interrogation settings, and thus the fears motivating exclusion of confessions that were the product of such custodial interrogation settings were not present.

As the court wrote:  "In June 2005, through the efforts of the FBI, the cooperating informant was wired with two recording devices and placed in a cell at the DACDC with Cook.  The placement of the cooperating informant and Cook in the same cell was the result of an orchestrated mock "reclassification day" in the DACDC.  The cooperating informant asked Cook about the Gantz murder and Cook described the roles that each of the three inmates played in killing Gantz.  This recorded statement was suppressed by the district court and is now the subject of this appeal.  Cook and his two cellmates were eventually charged in a five-count indictment with offenses related to the murder of Gantz."

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