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Supreme Court Gives Police More Leeway With Suspects

Publication Date: 
February 24, 2010
USA Today
Joan Biskupic

Professor Jeffrey Fisher, an expert in criminal procedure, is quoted on the Supreme Court's ruling on repeat questioning of suspects without a lawyer. Joan Biskupic of USA Today reports:

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that investigators may resume questioning a suspect who invoked his Miranda right to a lawyer after the suspect has been out of police custody for 14 days.

The 7-2 decision scales back a 1981 Supreme Court decision intended to protect suspects from police badgering to talk and to safeguard the rights established in the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona ruling.

Justices John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas did not join the decision establishing the 14-day rule, but they voted with the rest of the court to reinstate the conviction of a Maryland man convicted of child sexual abuse.


"When you have a two-week merry-go-round that the police can now run, there has to be a concern that if the guy invokes the right to counsel and the police keep coming back, that right doesn't mean much," Stanford University professor Jeffrey Fisher, a member of the association, said Wednesday.