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U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Considers Miranda Rights of Interrogated Prisoner

Posted Oct 5, 2011 8:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A prisoner who confessed to a sexual assault while incarcerated on a disorderly misconduct charge wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the conviction because he didn’t receive a Miranda warning.

At issue is whether police are required to give Miranda warnings to inmates every time they are interrogated about crimes unrelated to their incarceration, the Associated Press reports. The Supreme Court appeared split in oral arguments on Tuesday, AP says.

In the case before the Supreme Court, prisoner Randall Lee Fields was removed from his cell and taken to a conference room where sheriff’s deputies questioned him about the assault for seven hours. Deputies told Fields he was free to leave at any time, but they did not give him a Miranda warning.

The Obama administration and Michigan prosecutors argue the warning wasn’t required because Fields was free to leave and not in custody, the story says. The case is Howes v. Fields.

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