Police and the Law
In this assignment, analyze the two factors that trigger a police officer’s legal requirement to give the Miranda warnings. The two factors are: Custody Interrogation Review the scenarios below. Scenario 1 You are on patrol and stop a vehicle for going through a stop sign. The vehicle is occupied by two adult males. The vehicle license plate and V.I.N. number comes back stolen and you arrest both subjects. You do not ask them any questions or read them their Miranda rights. You place both subjects in the back seat of your patrol car. Your patrol camera and audio device is activated. You exit your patrol vehicle to assist in searching the stolen vehicle before it is towed and impounded. After you return to your patrol vehicle, you replay the footage and recording from your patrol camera. The cameras has recorded both subjects discussing how they stole the vehicle. Scenario 2 You are on patrol when you receive a call of a robbery at a local gas station. Witnesses report a man entered the gas station, showed a black hand gun, and ordered the clerk to put all the money from the cash register in a bag. The clerk complied, putting money in a grey plastic bag and gave it to the robber. The robber left the store with the bag of money. Dispatch provides a description to you over the radio, describing the suspect as follows: Caucasian male, with shoulder length, dyed green hair, tall about 6’5, wearing a blaze orange sweatshirt, yellow pants, red high top basketball shoes. When you are driving to the gas station, you observe a male walking on the sidewalk about a block from the gas station that was just robbed. The male matches the description of the robber provided to you by dispatch. You stop your patrol vehicle, get out and stop the man to speak to with him on the sidewalk. You do not handcuff the male, but you grab him by the arm when he tries to walk by you on the sidewalk and do not let him walk away. You ask the man, “where’s the money you robbed from the gas station?” Scenario 3 You are an investigator, trying to solve a burglary at the local public library. Someone broke into the library and stole five computers. Based on your investigation so far, you have a suspect in mind: a woman named Mary Smith. You call Mary and ask her to come to the police department to answer some questions. She agrees and comes to the department. You invite her into an interview room that includes a table and two chairs. There is only one door leading into the room. You sit at the table and Mary sits across from you. You begin to ask Mary questions about where she works, her hobbies, etc. and then ask her what she knows about computers being stolen from the library. She answers that she read about the incident in the newspaper. She then starts crying. You ask her if she has ever been to the library or used computers at the library. She says, yes, she has been to the library. You ask her if she was at the library on the day the computers were reported stolen. She continues to cry and ask very nervous. She says, yes, she was at the library the day the computers were stolen. She then says, “it was me. I did it. I took them. The computers. I wanted to give computers to my friends.” You then arrest Mary for burglary and theft and read her the Miranda warnings. For your written assignment, analyze each of the scenarios above and give a detailed explanation of whether the two factors: (1) custody and (2) interrogation, which trigger Miranda, are met in each of the scenarios. In your explanation, define “custody” and “interrogation.” Explain whether each scenario meet the definitions of “custody” and “interrogation.” Describe factors to consider that help determine whether a person is in custody and being interrogated under Miranda. Give your opinion as to the officer was required to read the Miranda warning and at what point in the scenarios above. Support your discussion and analysis through research and case law. Prepare your assignment following APA citation and format requirements. You must include proper citations to any source you relied on for information that you include in your paper.