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“Speak Loudly and Clearly If You Want to Invoke Your Constitutional Right to Remain Silent”

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Texas Law Talk Radio

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“Speak Loudly and Clearly If You Want to Invoke Your Constitutional Right to Remain Silent” Presented by nationally recognized criminal defense attorney Sara Elizabeth Dill of Perry, Krumsiek & Jack, LLP. Sara’s practice focuses on immigration, criminal defense, international law and sports law in Chicago, Miami, and Milwaukee. On June 1, 2010, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Berghuis v. Thompkins requiring that in order to invoke the Miranda right to remain silent, an individual must clearly and unambiguously state to the police that he/she does not want to answer their questions. This decision appears to go against the long-standing precedent surrounding waiver versus invocation of Miranda rights and eliminates the heavy burden previously placed on the prosecution to prove that a waiver of constitutional rights is knowingly and voluntarily made. The strongly worded dissent by Justice Sotomayor criticizes virtually every aspect of the majority opinion, accusing them of ignoring the evidence in the record that the individual only confessed after almost three hours of silence. This show will address the history of Miranda rights, how the rights have evolved, and how this decision changes the requirements for police, prosecutors, and courts in evaluating waiver or invocation of Miranda rights. It will also address questions of what constitutes coercion during interrogation, and how far police may go under this new rule. Finally, this show will discuss what individuals are now required to do when subjected to police interrogation if they wish to remain silent, not answer questions, or consult with an attorney prior to answering any questions. Topics to be covered include: 1. History of Miranda rights; 2. Evolution of Miranda rights; 3. The Supreme Court decision Berghuis v. Thompkins impact on treatment of Miranda rights; 4. What constitutes coercion; and 5. How individuals must respond if subject to interrogation.