The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that unwarned statements made by a service member should have been suppressed primarily because the service member was ordered by his commander to report to his home where the investigators were waiting to question him. (United States v. Rogers) The case is a short but interesting read on Miranda triggers and Article 31(b) comparisons. It is all the more interesting because the opinion was authored by Retired Justice David Souter, sitting by designation.

2 Responses to “1st Circuit Examines the Coercive Military Environment and Miranda Triggers”

  1. Anonymous Air Force Senior Defense Counsel with initials NM says:

    Thank you for this post. This issue seems to come up with me about once a year and I always have difficulty finding good civilian case law on the subject.

  2. JWS says:

    a non-commissioned Naval officer

    Is this a joke? Justice Souter should fire his clerk immediately. Two reasons: (1) ignorance & (2) insanely bad diction. I am sure the record is chock full of references to “petty officer” and no one in chambers understood that term?

    That said, Souter clearly sees through the Gov’t here & is rightfully shocked. The CO, NCIC & the locals conspired to evade the mandate of Miranda and entrap the troop. ANYONE who thinks a PO ordered by his CO to be somewhere where the CO knows the cops will interrogate him is nonetheless free to leave or not speak is not connected to the real world. This case is a serious rebuke to the district judge and the Gov’t.

    This is the kind of case that brings the Gov’t in to disrepute. Any lay person reading this case will conclude the Gov’t acted deceitfully and dishonorably. I’m just a former SNCO, so I ask: Is it honorable for a commissioned officer to use his power to mislead a subordinate and thereby conspire to deprive the PO of his statutory and constitutional rights? Unless, of course, the NCIC agent misled the CO, which may well have been the case.

    And, of course, the sailor should be dis-rated for stupidity. He sold his computer without wiping the hard drive?