ANOTHER New Rule for Juvie Confessions Announced Today – State in Int. of A.S.

[08/12/09 – 3:08 pm] This morning, the Appellate Division announced a new rule of procedure that law enforcement agencies should follow when attempting to obtain a waiver of Miranda rights from juvenile suspects. In State in the Interest of A.S., the police were called upon to investigate an aggravated sexual assault perpetrated by a 14 year-old female upon her 4 year-old nephew. During the police interview, the 14 year-old suspect was accompanied by an adult advisor, her mother who was also the grandmother of the victim. At the interview, the suspect’s mother manifested a clear conflict of interest in favor of the 4-year old victim and took aggressive, affirmative steps to have the suspect waive her right to remain silent, her right to counsel and to confess. The police even permitted the suspect’s mother to read the Miranda rights form to her.

In evaluating the totality of the circumstances, the Appellate Division found that the parental conflict in this case was the decisive factor. In ordering the suppression of the suspect’s confession, the Appellate Division advised police and prosecutors that,” where the adult advisor is known to have a close family relationship to both the victim and the alleged perpetrator, the prudent approach would be to require the presence of an attorney capable of advising the juvenile with respect to her rights and her potential culpability[.]”

The holding in the case is the second new rule related to waiver of juvenile Miranda rights in the past two weeks. On July 29th, the Supreme Court also announced new procedural rules related to juvenile confessions in State in the Int. of PMP, a case that can be found posted on Muni-mail.

Download a copy of State in the Int. of A.S.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive