Police Interrogation Case Study

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Justice Alito delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Kagan. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayer filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Fact Summary and Legal History: Randall Fields was serving a jail sentence in Michigan where he was interviewed by armed deputies on a criminal matter unrelated to his jail sentence. For the interview, Fields had been escorted by a corrections officer, through locked doors of the facility, to a conference room. The interview lasted five to seven hours and from the outset, Fields was advised by the deputies he was free to end the interview and return to his cell. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 (1966), was a reaction to police interrogation tactics that eroded the Fifth Amend­ment’s ban on compulsory self-incrimination (Howes, 2012). Fields had not been advised of his Miranda rights. Fields confessed to sexual acts with a minor and moved to have his confession suppressed at trial (Cunningham, 2012). A jury convicted Fields of “two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct,” and the judge sentenced him to ten to fifteen years in prison. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed and the Michigan Supreme Court denied discretionary review. The U.S. District Court for the…show more content…
Law enforcement managers should be guided by their organization's polices as they are applied through the lens Miranda in custody situations. There is clearly a balance, although in the case of Howes v. Fields, that balance was not the central argument. Future interpretation could be on the dehumanizing effects of prison life instead of a prisoner's familiarity with the legal system. What created a compelling argument for undermining the appeals decision was the effectiveness of the the interviewers who advised Fields he could stop the interview at any
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