Jun 1, 2010 4:44 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Court: Suspects must say they want to be silent

If you want to remain silent, you'll have to say so.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that in order to invoke their Miranda right to remain silent during criminal interrogations, suspects must explicitly tell police that they don't want to say anything. The 5-4 decision comes in a case in which a suspect stayed mostly silent for a three-hour police interrogation before implicating himself in a murder.

He appealed, saying he had invoked his right to remain silent by remaining silent. But Justice Anthony Kennedy says if the man wanted to invoke that right, he could have made a "simple, unambiguous" statement.

In a strongly worded dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the ruling "turns Miranda upside down." She says those who want to remain silent will be required to speak, while those who stay silent will be seen as waiving their rights, even though they haven't said they're doing so.


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