Sunday, May 3, 2009

Florida Solicitor General's Amicus Brief in US Supreme Court on Behalf of 37 States

On April 20, 2009, Florida's Solicitor General Scott D. Makar submitted a brief to the United States Supreme Court as amici curae on behalf of 37 states including: Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The brief can be accessed here.
The question presented to the court is:

Is the Edwards v. Arizona prohibition against interrogation of a suspect who has invoked the Fifth Amendment right to counsel inapplicable if, after the suspect asks for counsel, there is a break in custody or a substantial lapse in time (more than two years and six months) before commencing reinterrogation pursuant to Miranda?
The conclusion Mr. Makar and the 37 states ask the Supreme Court to reach is:

For all of the above reasons, this Court should reverse the Court of Appeals of Maryland and rule that Edwards is inapplicable when there has been a break in custody such that a suspect can voluntarily waive his rights under Miranda.


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