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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119216 Find in a Library
Title: Interrogation Under the Fifth Amendment: Arizona V. Mauro
Journal: Southwestern Law Journal  Volume:41  Issue:5  Dated:(February 1988)  Pages:1259-1270
Author(s): E D Lively
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The opinion in Arizona v. Mauro attempted to clarify the standard established in Rhode Island v. Innis to determine the functional equivalent of interrogation, reiterating that voluntary statements continue to be admissible in court as long as the suspect initiates the statement without police coercion.
Abstract: Mauro went to a local Arizona discount store and told employees he had just killed his son. Employees called the police to report the crime, and Mauro told the police he had murdered his son and took them to the location of the child's body. The police later agreed that his wife could talk with him only if a police officer with a tape recorder was present. The officer placed the tape recorder on the table in plain view to record the conversation, and Mauro incriminated himself during this conversation. The prosecutor sought to introduce the tape recording at trial as evidence that Mauro was sane at the time of the killing. Mauro attempted to suppress the evidence, claiming that the police acquired it in violation of his Miranda rights. Mauro was convicted of child abuse and first degree murder, but the Arizona Supreme Court reversed this conviction based on the court's interpretation of Rhode Island vs. Innis. The court determined that the conversation between Mauro and his wife occurred in a situation likely to elicit an incriminating response and thus constituted the functional equivalent of interrogation under the analysis of Innis. The issue in both Mauro and Innis is whether police officers engage in calculated conduct designed to induce incriminating remarks. The Fifth Amendment protects suspects from police coercion and not from their own voluntary statements. The U.S. Supreme Court, in rejecting the Arizona Supreme Court's reasoning, showed that Fifth Amendment cases are distinct from Sixth Amendment cases, even though the interrogation issue may occur in both. 108 references.
Main Term(s): Suspect interrogation
Index Term(s): Right against self incrimination; Rules of evidence
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