(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a brief today asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Sixth Circuit decision expanding Miranda rights for prisoners. Thirty-five other attorneys general joined DeWine’s brief.
Under the 1966 landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, police officers must inform a suspect that he has “the right to remain silent” and “the right to an attorney” if officers take him into custody. The Supreme Court has made clear, however, that Miranda warnings are not required when the suspect understands that he may end the conversation and leave the police station.
In a 2010 opinion, the Sixth Circuit greatly expanded Miranda protections for prisoners. Police interviewed a Michigan inmate about the sexual assault of a twelve-year-old boy. Although police informed the prisoner that he could end the interview and return to his cell at any time, the Sixth Circuit held that the prisoner was entitled to Miranda warnings and threw out his child-sex-abuse convictions.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. DeWine filed his brief in support of Attorney General Schuette, urging the Court to reinstate the inmate’s convictions.
The Sixth Circuit’s “framework has no foundation in precedent,” Ohio’s brief told the Court, "it creates artificial and unworkable distinctions in Miranda jurisprudence, and it affords greater rights to prisoners than to other citizens.”
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument for the case in the fall.
View a copy of Attorney General DeWine's brief
Lisa Hackley 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller 614-466-3840