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View Diary: Misinformation led to wrong names, confusion—and heartbreak (90 comments)

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  •  From wikipedia . . . (10+ / 0-)
    The Miranda rule is not, however, absolute. An exception exists in cases of "public safety". This limited and case-specific exception allows certain unadvised statements (given without Miranda warnings) to be admissible into evidence at trial when they were elicited in circumstances where there was great danger to public safety.[8]

    The public safety exception derives from New York v. Quarles, a case in which the Supreme Court considered the admissibility of a statement elicited by a police officer who apprehended a rape suspect who was thought to be carrying a firearm. The arrest took place in a crowded grocery store. When the officer arrested the suspect, he found an empty shoulder holster, handcuffed the suspect, and asked him where the gun was. The suspect nodded in the direction of the gun (which was near some empty cartons) and said, "The gun is over there". The Supreme Court found that such an unadvised statement was admissible in evidence because "[i]n a kaleidoscopic situation such as the one confronting these officers, where spontaneity rather than adherence to a police manual is necessarily the order of the day, the application of the exception we recognize today should not be made to depend on post hoc findings at a suppression hearing concerning the subjective motivation of the police officer".[9] Thus, the jurisprudential rule of Miranda must yield in "a situation where concern for public safety must be paramount to adherence to the literal language of the prophylactic rules enunciated in Miranda". The rule of Miranda is not, therefore, absolute and can be a bit more elastic in cases of public safety.[8]

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