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Oregon v. Mathiason

United States Supreme Court
429 U.S. 492 (1977)



Mathiason (defendant) was suspected of burglary. The officer responsible for the case left a note at Mathiason’s home asking Mathiason to call him. Mathiason called the officer and, since Mathiason indicated no preferable place to meet, the officer asked Mathiason to meet him at the state patrol office. When Mathiason arrived, they went into an office and Mathiason was told he was not under arrest. The officer then told Mathiason he was suspected in the burglary. The officer told Mathiason that his truthfulness may be considered by the judge and district attorney. The officer then falsely told Mathiason that his fingerprints were found at the crime scene. Mathiason then confessed to the burglary. All this took about five minutes. The officer then gave Mathiason his Miranda warnings and taped the confession. Mathiason was not arrested and left the office after 30 minutes. The state supreme court held that the interrogation took place in a coercive environment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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