Parental Advisory: Case Law, Part 2

About a year and a half ago, I posted about a decision of the Kansas Court of Appeals regarding the admission of a defendant’s statements after being pelted with profanities by the arresting officers.

It turns out that the State petitioned the Kansas Supreme Court for review, which they accepted. They released their decision today.

There wasn’t a “warning” in the Supreme Court decision, written by Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. There was, however discussion on the profane language and its impact on how the Defendant interacted with the arresting officers.

In addition to throwing out statements the Defendant made after receiving his Miranda warning, the defendant cross-petitioned for review whether statements he made before being read his rights should have been suppressed. The Supreme Court agreed with the defendant on this as well, reasoning that the police had effectively put him in custody when he made those statements and therefore should have been given his Miranda warning sooner.

Justice Caleb Stegall, joined by Justice Dan Biles, disagreed with the suppression of the pre-Miranda statements. Stegall also thought the majority opinion put too much weight on the use of the f-bomb, but agreed that the officer’s statements were coercive in nature to affirm their suppression.

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