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Appeals Court Says Police Failed To Give Complete Miranda Warning

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Miranda warnings to suspects who are arrested and questioned are not complete unless officers include the detail that attorneys can be in the room before and during interrogations. Capital Bureau Chief Rick Pluta tells us that decision came Wednesday from the state Court of Appeals.

A divided appeals court panel said police interviews with a woman accused of killing her live-in boyfriend could not be used in court. The ruling says the fact that she was informed of her right to an attorney was not enough – that she should have been told she was allowed to consult with an attorney beforehand, and have her lawyer in the room during questioning.

Attorney Michael Lavigne says his client was left without a thorough understanding of her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“The essential meaning of those rights has to be adequately conveyed, and I think the court’s decision in this case was consistent with that.” Says Lavigne.

The murder case will go to trial now unless the Oakland County prosecutor appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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