Instead, “Miranda and its progeny in this
Court govern the admissibility of statements
made during custodial interrogation in state
and federal courts.” 73
Despite the Court’s prior “prophylactic
rule” cases’ logical and doctrinal inconsistency with its new “constitutional rule” approach, it endorsed them simply as “
modifications” that were “as much a normal part of
constitutional law as the as the original decision.” 74 It also stated that its prior refusal to
apply the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine to Miranda violations “does not prove
that Miranda is a nonconstitutional decision
but simply recognizes that unreasonable
searches under the Fourth Amendment are
different from unwarned interrogation under
the Fifth Amendment.” 75 However, it did not
explain that difference.
Despite declaring that Miranda warnings are
constitutionally required, the Court continues to limit remedies for such violations.
No 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Actions
A suspect cannot file a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ac-
No “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”
tion against an interrogating officer alleging
his Fifth Amendment rights were violated by
“relentless” interrogation while he was in a
hospital. Instead, those rights are violated
only when incriminating statements are in-
troduced against him, not when they are ob-
tained. However, a Fourteenth Amendment
due process claim could be pursued if police
torture or other abuse resulted in a confes-
The Court continues to hold the “fruit of
the poisonous tree” doctrine does not apply
to evidence obtained through Miranda violations. Because Miranda rights are violated
only when such statements are admitted into
evidence, excluding such statements provides
a “complete and sufficient remedy for that
violation.” 77 However, the doctrine continues to require exclusion of the fruit of actually
coerced statements. 78 That distinction clearly
makes exclusion of confessions or other evidence obtained through Miranda violations
a second-class constitutional principle. It also
greatly reduces any deterrent effect on police
interrogations of requiring Miranda warnings, by refusing to suppress any evidence
resulting from such confessions when they
have not been given.
A Suspect’s Right to Remain Silent
Must Be Invoked “Unambiguously”
A suspect’s mere silence during a three-hour
in-custody interrogation, after he was initially
This 1960s view from Third Street and Jefferson shows the Deuce in all its gritty yet useful character.
The Grand Hotel, Washington and Fifth Streets, 1960s.
Central Produce Terminal at Third Street and Madison at the foot of the Deuce.
What Hapened to Miranda?