Criminal Procedure—Conduct of Police in Allowing Suspect in Custody to Speak with His Wife is not Tantamount to “Interrogation” Even Though Police Were Aware That the Suspect Would Possibly Incriminate Himself During the Conversation: Arizona v. Mauro, __U.S. __, 107 S. Ct. 1931, 95 L. Ed. 2d 458
Mitchell, Michael R.
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Examines the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. Mauro, which the author believes to erode the constitutional protections afforded to criminal suspects. The case involved a properly Mirandized and arrested man suspected of (and having subsequently admitted to) killing his nine-year-old son. The man’s wife, also a suspect, was being questioned by police and asked to speak to her husband. The request was granted and the conversation between the two recorded, despite admitted police cognizance that incriminating statements might result. The Court held that police conduct in this instance did not constitute an “interrogation” under the Miranda and Rhode Island v. Innis standards. The author examines these two standards and argues that the Court incorrectly applied them in Mauro.