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Posted: 12/2/2002 11:02:27 AM EDT
[url]http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20021202/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_police_questioning_4[/url] Supreme Court Could End Miranda Warnings Mon Dec 2, 8:06 AM ET By LINDA DEUTSCH, AP Special Correspondent LOS ANGELES (AP) - For five years, Oliverio Martinez has been blind and paralyzed as the result of a police shooting. Now he is at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) case that could determine whether decades of restraints on police interrogations should be discarded. The blanket requirement for a Miranda warning to all suspects that they have the right to remain silent could end up in the rubbish bin of legal history if the court concludes police were justified in aggressively questioning the gravely wounded Martinez while he screamed in agony. "I am dying! ... What are you doing to me?" Martinez is heard screaming on a recording of the persistent interrogation by police Sgt. Ben Chavez in Oxnard, a city of 182,000 about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. "If you are going to die, tell me what happened," the officer said. He continued the questioning in an ambulance and an emergency room while Martinez pleaded for treatment. At times, he left the room to allow medical personnel to work, but he returned and continued pressing for answers. No Miranda warning was given. A ruling that minimizes defendants' rights would be useful to the Bush administration, which supports Oxnard's appeal, in its questioning of terrorism suspects, experts said. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) agreed with a federal judge that the confession was coerced and cannot be used as evidence against Martinez in his excessive-force civil case against the city. It said Chavez should have known that questioning a man who had been shot five times, was crying out for treatment and had been given no Miranda warning was a violation of his constitutional rights. Oxnard appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear arguments in the case Wednesday. The U.S. Justice Department (news - web sites) filed a friend-of-the-court brief along with police organizations and the conservative Criminal Justice Legal Foundation contending that unfettered police questioning is allowable so long as the information obtained from a suspect is not used against that person in court. Opponents of the government position say a ruling diluting the Miranda protections would be another nail in the coffin of individual rights sacrificed in the interest of rooting out terrorists. "This is a case to be concerned about," said Charles Weisselberg, a University of California, Berkeley, law professor. "To see the (U.S.) solicitor general arguing that there's no right to be free from coercive interrogation is pretty aggressive." On Nov. 28, 1997, Martinez, a farm worker, was riding his bicycle through a field where police were questioning a man suspected of selling drugs. The police ordered Martinez to stop. When an officer found a sheathed knife in his waistband, they scuffled and the officer's partner, perceiving that Martinez was reaching for the officer's gun, shot him five times, in the eyes, spine and legs. Chavez eventually got an acknowledgment from Martinez that he did grab for the officer's gun. But Martinez's lawyers said that statement was coerced and is inadmissible in the damage case that Martinez filed. Martinez was never charged with a crime. The Oxnard appeal argues that the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination applies only at a criminal trial and the 14th Amendment guarantee of due process of law is violated only if the questioning of a suspect is so excessive that it "shocks the conscience" of the community. Martinez is represented by R. Samuel Paz, a frequent critic of police practices. "I think it will turn on whether the court is going to stand up and say what it said before," Paz said, "that the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments protect people, and that we do have rights that extend beyond having a coerced confession admitted into a criminal case." Martinez, 34, blind and paraplegic, lives in a one-room trailer in a remote rural area, tended by his father. "It's tragic," said Alan E. Wisotsky, the lawyer for the city of Oxnard, "but you can't look at it from a philanthropic standpoint. He tried to kill police officers or they thought he was trying to kill them .... Does the tape (of the interrogation) sound bad? Yes, the guy is in agony. But the questioning was to get at the truth." The Miranda warning takes its name from the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in a 1966 case involving the use of a confession in the rape prosecution of Ernesto Miranda. "A generation of Americans has grown up since 1966 confident that, if brought to the police station for questioning, we have the right to remain silent, that the police will warn us of that right and, above all, that they will respect its exercise," said a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Martinez by the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. "... If petitioners' theory of the Fifth Amendment is correct, then the public's confidence has been misplaced for all these decades and is about to be shattered," it said.
Link Posted: 12/2/2002 11:05:28 AM EDT
I was just gonna post this. Don't worry...just a small change as "you have the right to say what we told you..." Think about it! Its to save the children from the terrorists...
Link Posted: 12/2/2002 11:11:53 AM EDT
Duplicate Post. I already posted this. http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=157331
Link Posted: 12/2/2002 11:18:29 AM EDT
The War on Drugs strikes again. They shot the man 5 times, permanently blinding him and making him a paraplegic...[b]but DID NOT CHARGE HIM WITH A CRIME![/b] That is a fucking outrage. Those two cops should be beat to death with wiffle ball bats.
Link Posted: 12/2/2002 11:39:40 AM EDT
Look, I am a very liberal guy on most things, but I have never, ever, understood why something had to be thrown out for failure to give someone the Miranda warning. Everything in the Miranda is something that any non-mental defective adult should KNOW anyways. It is and always has been redundant. The only reason I can see for its existance is to give defense attorneys a easy out. Anyone who is too young or too defective to NOT know to shut up and ask for a lawyer would not understand what the cops were telling them when they read them the Miranda anyways. And since when has ignorance of the law ever been a acceptable defense for any crime or misdemeanor in this country? Extream youth or mental retardation yes, but ignorance has never saved anyone from jail. If ignorance of the [i]law[/i] doesn protect us why should the suspects ignorance of their [i]rights[/i] be allowed to give them a escape? [i]Mapp[/i] and [i]Gidion[/i] are the important cases in protecting us from unfair police action. Mess with those and there will be trouble. Miranda, I cant see much harm in. Then again there wasn't much harm to most Americans before the Miranda decision. How many Americans worried about having their rights violated by police in 1969, before Miranda was handed down?
Link Posted: 12/2/2002 11:48:10 AM EDT
It doesn't change your right to remain silent. The only thing that changes is that they don't have to tell you what your rights are. LEOs have been known to outright LIE in order to elicit the statement they desire to fit their agenda. How is not telling you what your rights are going to change anything? Maybe for the totally ignorant who don't understand the law... but that's their problem.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 5:35:23 AM EDT
[img]http://www.commspeed.net/jmurray/images/miranda_rights.gif[/img] Jay
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 9:21:55 AM EDT
It's for the children.
Link Posted: 12/3/2002 9:30:35 AM EDT
I see nothing wrong with miranda. They should leave it as is. Now if they guy had died, it would have been a dying declaration, of which Miranda does not apply. I think the Sergeant trying to coerce him into saying something is BULLSHIT. The Sergeant was covering his ass because he forgot. No excuse.
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