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Stansbury v. California
United States Supreme Court
511 U.S. 318 (1994)
Robert Stansbury was convicted of first-degree murder and statutory rape and was sentenced to death. On appeal to the California Supreme Court, Stansbury argued that the incriminating statements he made to law enforcement during an interview, but before he was arrested, should not have been admitted. Stansbury was not read his Miranda rights until he was arrested. The California Supreme Court upheld the admissibility of Stansbury’s interview statements, holding that Miranda warnings were not required until and unless the investigators focused on Stansbury as a suspect. The court reasoned that because Stansbury was not considered a suspect when he was called in for the interview, and only became a suspect after he made clearly incriminating statements, Miranda warnings were not required until the police considered Stansbury to be a suspect. Stansbury appealed, arguing that the entire interview constituted a custodial interrogation and that all statements made prior to the issuance of Miranda warnings were therefore invalid. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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