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What Is Detective Hopewell's Appropriate Interrogation?

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Detective Hopewell begins warning Joseph of his Miranda Rights and further admissible interrogation by explicitly acknowledging that Joseph does not “really understand” what his Miranda Warnings or rights are. However, she states that is okay, because his mother (not his biological mother, but his step-mother, Krista) was present during the interrogation. Hopewell tells Joseph to let her know if he does not understand any part of what she is telling him so that she can further explain. He acknowledges that he understands what she just said by responding “All right.” He also acknowledges that he understands that he is in the police station because of what happened to his father.
At this point, Detective Hopewell begins to advise Joseph of …show more content…
In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. 261, 131 S.Ct. 2394, 180 L.Ed.2d 310 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court held that: “‘our history is replete with laws and judicial recognition’ that children cannot be viewed simply as miniature adults” and that “kids are different than adults” and are uniquely vulnerable to interrogation. In J.D.B., the thirteen year old juvenile who was in 7th grade was charged with breaking and entering as well as larceny. A digital camera, which was one of the items reported missing from one of the two homes that were broken into was found at J.D.B.’s school and seen in his possession during school hours. J.D.B. was taken out of class and was first questioned for thirty minutes without being given his Miranda Rights. His Miranda Warnings were then read to him thirty minutes later and he was told that he could refuse to answer questions and was free to leave if he decided that he wanted to leave. However, he was not asked if he wanted to stop talking to the interrogators or if he wanted an attorney or a guardian with him during the interrogation. He was not given any additional attention to make sure that he understood these rights. J.D.B. told the interrogators that he understood that he could leave or refuse to answer questions, yet continued to provide further detail about the incident and wrote a statement about the break-in. It was clear in this case that J.D.B. lacked the capacity to exercise mature judgement when given the option to invoke his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination and was unable process what was occurring during the interrogation. As a child, it was not reasonable for him to understand without being told that he could leave the room or ask for another adult or attorney present. For that reason, he confessed to the crimes and told the investigators where the stolen items were. His public defender moved to suppress the admission

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