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Oregon v. Elstad

United States Supreme Court
470 U.S. 298 (1985)


Facts

A home was burglarized and a witness implicated Elstad (defendant) in the crime. After obtaining an arrest warrant, two officers went to Elstad’s home where his mother let them inside. While one officer went into the kitchen to explain what was happening to Elstad’s mother, the other officer remained in the living room with Elstad. Without reading Elstad his Miranda warnings, the officer in the living room began talking with Elstad. When the officer said that he believed Elstad was involved in the robbery, Elstad replied, “Yes, I was there.” Once the officers and Elstad arrived at the police station, Elstad was read his Miranda warnings which he then waived. Elstad then made a full statement implicating himself in the burglary. The statement was put into writing, signed by Elstad and admitted at trial where Elstad was convicted of burglary. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the signed confession was inadmissible because it was “tainted” by the initial questioning that occurred without Elstad’s Miranda warnings having been read.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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