Berghuis v. Thompkins
United States Supreme Court
130 S. Ct. 2250 (2010)
Thompkins (defendant) was interrogated about his involvement in a murder. Before questioning Thompkins, the police had him read aloud a portion of a written form with the Miranda warnings printed on it. The rest of the form was read aloud to Thompkins and police asked that he sign the form to show he understood his rights. Thompkins refused. Thompkins was then interrogated for about three hours. He never stated that he wanted an attorney or to remain silent. Thompkins gave only a few one word responses. When asked if he prayed that God forgive him for shooting the victim, Thompkins said yes. Thompkins was charged with murder. The court denied Thompkins’ motion to suppress the statements he made during interrogation and he was convicted. His conviction was affirmed on appeal. The state supreme court declined review of his case. Thompkins petitioned a federal court for a writ of habeas corpus. The court denied his petition, holding that Thompkins did not invoke his right to silence and that his confession was not coerced. The district court also held that the appellate court’s decision that Thompkins had waived his right to silence was reasonable. The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed and held that the state appellate court’s decision that Thompkins had waived his right to silence was unreasonable. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.