And there were two front-end habeas decisions this week that focused on Miranda.
The one getting all of the attention was the crazy decision in Maryland v. Shatzer (opinion here), in which Scalia states that, once a defendant invokes his right to remain silent and there is a break in custody, he has a golden force field surrounding him for 14 days during which time the police cannot question him. But after those 14 days, it's open season for interrogation.
It's a little silly. And I can't see it applying in too many cases. But it has sent the legal talking heads into orbit, so I guess that's fun.
For me, the biggest disappointment is that they chose 14 days, instead of, let's say, 16. Because if they had chosen 16, then it would have given me a great reason to throw in a reference to my favorite Whiskeytown song, 16 days. Oh what the heck, since it's out there already, I'll drop a "video" in here anyways:
The other decision was Florida v. Powell (opinion here) in which the Supreme Court stated that it was okay if the police don't give the Miranda warnings verbatim, even if it means that one of the particular rights that is supposed to be mentioned goes unmentioned. Not an unexpected result from this Court, but, really, is it so hard to force the police to read all of these rights? There are not that many of them and they take all of 45 seconds to say. Fer crissakes, cops usually just read them off a piece of paper. Talk about defining competence downward. Even sadder -- Ginsburg wrote the opinion. Let's just hope this "almost is good enough" idea does not get extended into other areas of law.