New Miranda Rights

Arguments are being made before the Supreme Court this week over how Miranda rights should be given to criminal suspects.  According to the AP, the Supreme Court could be headed toward telling the police they have to explicitly warn criminal suspects that their lawyer can be present during any interrogations.

The argument steams from a case where Kevin Dwayne Powell was given Miranda warnings that included telling him he had a right to a lawyer before questioning. Powell’s lawyers appealed, saying police didn’t tell him he had a right to have a lawyer during police interrogation. The Florida Supreme Court overturned it. Justice Stephen Breyer said Monday that Miranda rights say a suspect has the right to have an attorney during questioning, and he asked repeatedly if the Florida officers made that plain to Powell.

If the court rules that the police officer should have told the supusect that he had a right to have his attorney during interrogation then police officer will have to start to modify the existing Miranda warning that says,

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”