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Name: Anderson v. Terhune
Case #: 04-17237
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/15/2008

Statement, “I plead the Fifth” was an unequivocal assertion of appellant’s right to remain silent. Anderson challenged his conviction of special circumstances murder on the grounds that he was denied his constitutional right to remain silent and that admission of his involuntary confession violated his right to due process. Anderson twice attempted to stop police from questioning him by stating “I don’t want to talk about this no more,” “I’m through with this,” and “I plead the Fifth.” Instead of honoring his “unambiguous invocation of the Fifth Amendment,” the officer stated, “Plead the Fifth. What’s that?” and continued the questioning, ultimately obtaining a confession. Anderson contended on appeal that he invoked his Fifth Amendment right to terminate his police interrogation, and the officer’s continued interrogation violated that right. The Ninth Circuit agreed and reversed, granting Anderson’s writ of habeas corpus. The state court’s conclusion that Anderson’s invocation was ambiguous was an unreasonable application of Miranda and based on an unreasonable determination of the facts. The errors were not harmless.