Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Supreme Court Rules On Miranda Case

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on a Miranda case which we have been following since the middle of last year.  We first reported on the case of Kevin Dwayne Powell in a post on June 13, 2009.  We also informed our readers in a post on December 13, 2009 that the Supreme Court had heard oral arguments on the case.  Powell had been convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.  Today we can report that the Supreme Court upheld the sufficiency of the Miranda warnings given to Powell.  Powell had been informed by the police officer that he had the right to a lawyer before questioning.  He was not informed that he could have a lawyer present during questioning.  The Florida Supreme Court overturned his conviction and found that the warnings given to Powell did not adequately convey that he had a right to an attorney throughout the questioning.  The United States Supreme Court disagreed and found that the warnings given to Powell reasonably conveyed to Powell that he could have a lawyer present throughout the questioning.  The majority opinion was written by Justice GinsbergGinsberg stated that Miranda did not dictate the exact words that have to be in the warnings but that warnings given to Powell essentially conveyed the message required by Miranda.

The case is Florida v. Powell, 08-1175.

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