National

Mar 1, 2010 12:44 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Court weighs whether silence alone can invoke Miranda

The Supreme Court appears ready to tell suspects that if they want the right to remain silent, they have to say so.

The high court heard an appeal from Michigan prosecutors whose conviction was thrown out because police kept interrogating the suspect after reading him his Miranda rights, despite the fact that he never said he wanted to talk. Lawyers for defendant Van Chester Thompkins' argued that police must first get a suspect to say that he is waiving his right to be silent before an interrogation.

But several justices indicated during arguments that they thought a suspect must first explicitly tell police that he wants to be silent before complaining about an interrogation. Other justices said it was arguable that by remaining silent, Thompkins was invoking Miranda.

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