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Name: Doody v. Schiro
Case #: 06-17161
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/20/2008

The minor’s confession was involuntary despite Miranda warnings being given where police interrogated him over night for twelve straight hours. Police interrogated petitioner, a 17-year old Thai American, about the murders of some Buddhist monks in their monastery. Although police gave Miranda warnings, they questioned petitioner for twelve hours, with 45 minutes of hard questioning, demands that he answer, and which left him sobbing, but resulted in incriminating statements. After the conviction was affirmed in state court, petitioner filed a federal habeas writ alleging the confession should have been suppressed because the Miranda warnings were inadequate, and his statement was coerced and involuntary. The Court of Appeals discussed the distinction between Miranda protections, and voluntariness. The due process voluntariness inquiry looks to the totality of the circumstances, including whether Miranda warnings were given and how effectively, and asks whether a defendant’s will was overborne. The court found that here it was. The factors the court found significant included petitioner’s youth, inexperience with the criminal justice system, the police pressure and tone, their relentlessness, the fact that the Miranda warnings were delivered so as to minimize their effectiveness, and that petitioner did not begin to confess until after he had been interrogated for over six and one-half hours.