Illinois V Perkins Case Summary

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LaShelle Dam CRJ 123 – 10:30 AM Sept. 27, 2015 CASE BRIEF CASE: Illinois v. Perkins, 496 U.S. 292 (1990) SUMMARY OF THE FACTS: The respondent spoke to an undercover government agent disguised as an inmate while imprisoned for charges irrelevant to a murder that agent was investigating. Respondent’s statements implicated he was involved in the murder the agent was pursuing. Respondent was soon charged with the murder. Miranda warnings were not given during their conversations; therefore, respondent argued that the statements should be inadmissible. ISSUE: Whether an undercover law enforcement officer must give Miranda warnings to an incarcerated suspect before asking him questions that may extract an incriminating answer. APPLICABLE RULES OF LAW: The Fifth Amendment rule against self-incrimination forbids admitting statements given by a suspect during “custodial interrogation” without previous warning. Custodial interrogation is defined as ‘questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody . . . .’ Miranda was intended to protect persons during ‘incommunicado interrogation of individuals in a police-dominated atmosphere,’ an atmosphere that creates ‘inherently…show more content…
REASONING (RATIONALE): Discussions between prisoners and undercover agents are not applicable to the features essential to Miranda. A ‘police-dominated atmosphere’ and coercion are absent when a prisoner converses freely with someone whom he believes is another prisoner. When a suspect regards himself in the atmosphere of inmates and not law enforcement officials, the coercive atmosphere is deficient. Therefore, Miranda warnings are not obligatory whenever a suspect is in a technical sense and speaks with an individual who happens to be an undercover government

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