Law: Rights Ruling

On chatting and busing

Ever since the landmark Miranda decision in 1966, police have been prohibited from formally interrogating any person they take into custody if he invokes his right to remain silent until his lawyer is on hand. But does that mean officers cannot try to maneuver a suspect into speaking up about his crime in, say, casual chitchat? Yes indeed, the Supreme Court said last week. In a 6-to-3 ruling in a Rhode Island murder case, the Justices declared that Miranda bars "any words or actions ... that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response...

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