47 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2010
Date Written: 1995
This article, published in 1995, considers whether there should be an “ending point” to the clear, bright line rule against re-interrogation set forth in Edwards v. Arizona. In Edwards, the Supreme Court held that once a suspect invokes his right to counsel, no police initiated interrogation can occur. What was left unsaid was how long this bar lasts. Does the rule last in perpetuity – ie., once a suspect invokes the right to counsel, the police can never re-approach him to obtain a waiver of his Miranda rights? If so, is this too great a cost? If not, what event or events should signal an end to the protection set forth in Edwards? The article considers the need for some breaking point, and analyzes several possible events like the passage of time and a break in custody that might allow the police to obtain a waiver after a suspect has invoked his right to counsel.
The Supreme Court resolved this issue in 2009 in Maryland v. Shatzer, where the Court announced a bright line rule: the police may attempt to obtain a waiver from a suspect who has previously invoked the right to counsel 14 days after a break in custody. Although the article obviously does not address the case directly (since it was written 15 years before the case came down), the analysis in the article is still useful in thinking about the validity of the Court’s holding and in considering possible alternative approaches the Court could have taken.
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