United States Supreme Court
541 U.S. 652 (2004)
17-year-old Michael Alvarado (defendant) agreed to help Paul Soto (defendant) steal Francisco Castaneda’s truck. Soto demanded Castaneda’s money and keys at gunpoint while Alvarado waited on the passenger side. Soto shot and killed Castaneda, and Alvarado helped hide the gun. Police requested a meeting, and Alvarado’s parents took him to the station for the two-hour interview. Alvarado’s parents claim that police would not allow them to be present for the interview. Alvarado was not given the Miranda warnings. The interviewer encouraged Alvarado to tell the truth, and Alvarado ultimately confessed. Months later, Alvarado was arrested for robbery and murder. Alvarado made a pretrial motion to suppress his statements. The motion was denied since the statements were made during a noncustodial interview. A jury found Alvarado guilty of first-degree murder and attempted robbery, but the judge reduced the charge to second-degree murder and sentenced Alvarado to 15 years to life imprisonment. The appellate court affirmed the conviction. Alvarado petitioned for habeas corpus in federal district court. The district court denied the petition. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth circuit reversed on the grounds that the trial court did not consider Alvarado’s age and inexperience in its determination that a reasonable person would have felt free to terminate the interview. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Breyer, 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 204,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.