Thursday, June 16, 2011

Supreme Court backs Miranda warning when questioning juveniles

The Supreme Court expanded the rights of juveniles Thursday, deciding by a 5-4 vote that police officers who remove a student from a class to question him about a crime usually must warn him of his right to remain silent.

"It is beyond dispute that children will often feel bound to submit to police questioning when an adult in the same circumstance would feel free to leave," wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor for the court.

The decision does not set a strict rule for all cases involving young people, but instead says their age calls for giving them special protection...

...Sotomayor said age is a crucial factor, and it suggests the student would feel he is in the control of the police. Officers and judges "simply need the common sense to know that a 7-year-old is not a 13-year old and neither is an adult," she wrote. "To hold, as the state requests, that a child's age is never relevant to whether a suspect has been taken into custody — and thus to ignore the very real differences between children and adults — would be to deny children the full scope of the procedural safeguards that Miranda guarantees to adults."

Read more HERE.

1 comment:

LegalBeaglette said...

The Court's Opinion is available online:

Worth your time to read if you have children in school, parents!

Ms. Abell, I think the sheriff's office and a state's attorney should brief the BoE and staff on this ruling. I believe it significantly affects the school system's "standard procedure" with regard to questioning a student in school.