Skip to content
Name: People v. Thoma
Case #: B170355
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/26/2005

A defendant’s silence in the face of a court’s description at sentencing of a victim’s injuries was admissible in a later prosecution as an adoptive admission. The defendant pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine, and then waived jury trial on a prior conviction allegation under the three strikes law. The court found the allegation that the defendant had previously been convicted of personally inflicting great bodily injury to be true, based in part on statements made by the judge at the sentencing hearing in the prior case to the effect that the victim had suffered massive injuries…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Gonzalez
Case #: S122240
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/24/2005

Before submitting to a polygraph exam during a custodial interrogation, appellant said "If for anything you guys are going to charge me I want to talk to a public defender too, for any little thing." The police assured him he could talk to an attorney but that they planned to book him, and would release him if he passed the polygraph. The interrogation continued that evening and the following day, and appellant ultimately confessed to murder. The Court of Appeal concluded that the statement was a sufficiently clear request for counsel and that the police at a…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Jenkins
Case #: A099675
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/30/2004
Subsequent History: 12/22/04: rev. den.

While the court erred in failing to suppress statements made during an unlawful detention, the admission of those statements was not prejudicial. The defendant, a suspect in a murder and an attempted murder, was arrested without a warrant for driving without a license, and was detained for over sixteen hours while officers questioned him. He was not brought before a magistrate and the officers were not engaged in necessary administrative functions related to the traffic offense; instead, the officers detained defendant in order to question him regarding the homicide investigation. The Court of Appeal concluded that while…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Jiles
Case #: E034087
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/16/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 12/22/04: S128638

A victim’s statement made shortly before her death is admissible under Crawford v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1354 regardless of whether the statement is testimonial. The defendant’s wife told a police officer that the defendant had stabbed her; she then lost consciousness and died about an hour later. The defendant argued that her statement was inadmissible under the Sixth Amendment because the statement was testimonial and he had had no opportunity to cross-examine her. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument, noting that Crawford had left open an exception for dying declarations and the doctrine of forfeiture…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Ramos
Case #: B166003
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/27/2004
Subsequent History: 12/1/04 revw. den.

Based on the totality of the circumstances, appellant's statements to police officers were voluntary and therefore admissible at his trial for attempted murder. The fact that the officer made an improper promise of leniency by advising appellant that his cooperation would benefit him was not sufficient to render the otherwise voluntary statements involuntary. Further, the exclusion of expert testimony on police interrogation tactics did not require reversal. The trial court properly concluded that the defense failed to demonstrate the need for the expert testimony, and also expressly indicated that it would reconsider during trial if the evidence adduced at trial…

View Full Summary
Name: Missouri v. Seibert
Case #: 02-1371
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/28/2004

Where an officer deliberately elicits incriminating statements without administering warnings under Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436, and then in the course of a nearly continuous interrogation subsequently elicits the same statements following Miranda warnings, the latter statement must also be suppressed. A four-justice plurality held that the post-advisement statement was not made admissible under Oregon v. Elstad (1985) 470 U.S. 298 because under the circumstances of this case the late advisement was unlikely to have accomplished the goals of the Miranda rule, i.e., to reduce the risk of admitting a coerced statement at trial. Justice Breyer,…

View Full Summary
Name: United States v. Patane
Case #: 02-1183
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/28/2004

A failure by police to give warnings under Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436 prior to interrogation does not require suppression of the physical fruits of unwarned but otherwise voluntary statements. The interrogating officer here attempted to give Miranda advisements but was cut off by the defendant, who said that he knew his rights. The lower federal courts suppressed physical evidence recovered as a result of the defendant’s subsequent admissions. A four-justice plurality held that suppression of physical evidence was not required because the Miranda rule protects against violations of the self-incrimination clause, and that…

View Full Summary
Name: People v. Holloway
Case #: S029550
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/17/2004

Statements by police officers to a defendant during interrogations, in which the officers implied that if the defendant told the truth he might be able to avoid the death penalty, did not amount to impermissible promises of leniency in exchange for a confession. Further, Miranda warnings were not required during an earlier interrogation because the defendant was not in custody, even though his parole officer had placed him in handcuffs while awaiting the arrival of homicide detectives. The detectives themselves did not order that he be handcuffed, and upon finding him in that state ordered that he be…

View Full Summary
Name: Yarborough v. Alvarado
Case #: 02-1684
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 06/01/2004

A state court finding that a defendant was not in custody for Miranda purposes did not involve an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law. The Ninth Circuit had found that the state court erred in failing to consider a defendant's young age in determining whether a reasonable person would have believed that he was in custody at the time of questioning. The Supreme Court reversed, finding that clearly-established federal case law outlined an objective test for determining whether a suspect was in custody for Miranda purposes, and that objective test did not include consideration of the suspect's…

View Full Summary
Name: Paulino v. Castro
Case #: 02-55924
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/14/2004

A defendant’s agreement to talk to an officer, following an advisement of his right to silence and counsel under Miranda, is sufficient to constitute a waiver of the right to counsel even where the defendant does not specifically waive that right. The court held that defendant’s subsequent questions about how long it was going to take a lawyer to get there did not render his statements involuntary or invoke the right to counsel. However, the court next held that where the evidence showed a clear pattern of striking black jurors, a plausible inference of discrimination existed and required…

View Full Summary