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Name: Taylor v. Maddox
Case #: 02-55560
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 05/10/2004
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 12/13/04
Summary

Appellant was sixteen years old when he was arrested for murder. The arrest took place at 11;30 p.m., and officers found appellant alone in the home, sleeping. He was taken to the police station and interrogated for three hours, and given no food or rest breaks. Neither his mother nor counsel were present. Appellant testified that he asked for his mother and for his attorney repeatedly. He did not know what he was signing when he was told to sign a Miranda waiver. There was no recording of the three hours preceding the eleven minute confession to murder and robbery, which was taped. Appellant’s lawyer testified that he received a call minutes after the confession, and that his conversation with appellant closely matched appellant’s testimony concerning the three hour interrogation. The state appellate court opinion did not mention the lawyer’s testimony, and found the police officers’ rendition credible, and appellant’s testimony incredible. This court granted habeas relief. The sixteen year old appellant was interrogated for three hours in the middle of the night, without counsel or a parent present. The police officers’ coercive and constitutionally unacceptable misconduct overbore appellant’s free will, rendering his confession involuntary.