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Name: U.S. v. Craighead
Case #: 07-10135
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/21/2008
Summary

Interrogations occurring inside the home are custodial, requiring Miranda advisements under the Fifth Amendment, if the circumstances turn it into one of a “police-dominated” atmosphere. After connecting appellant, an electronic warfare technician in the U. S. Air Force, with child pornography following undercover surveillance of child pornography distribution on the internet, an F.B.I. agent obtained a search warrant for his residence. The agent and seven other officers from various agencies, all armed, executed the warrant. During the search, appellant was taken to a storage room and questioned, without first being advised of his Miranda rights. But he was advised that he was not under arrest and was free to leave. One of the officers leaned against the wall during the interview, which lasted approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Appellant admitted that he downloaded child pornography on his computer and stored some if it on a disk. In determining whether the interview was conducted in a police atmosphere, rendering it custodial, the court considered: the number of law enforcement officers present and whether they were armed; whether the suspect was restrained by physical force or threats; whether he was isolated; whether he was told he was free to leave or terminate the interview and the context in which the statements were made. After evaluating these factors, the court determined the interview was custodial and that appellant’s Fifth Amendment rights were violated by the failure to advise him of his Miranda rights, and that his statements should have been suppressed.