Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

Reyes v. Lewis, No. 12-56650 [August 14, 2015]

Reyes v. Lewis

Reyes raised a claim that his state-court conviction rested on a confession obtained in violation of Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600 (2004). The court found that Justice Kennedy’s concurrence represented the holding in Seibert and that a postwarning statement must be suppressed if interrogating officers deliberately use the two-step interrogation technique that was used in Seibert, and if effective curative measures are not taken to ensure that the suspect genuinely understood the Miranda warnings. The court found that the California Court of Appeal did not understand Seibert, therefore it is entitled to no deference. In determining whether the officers deliberately employed the two-step interrogation technique condemned in Seibert a court should review the totality of the objective and subjective evidence surrounding the interrogations in order to determine deliberateness, with a recognition that in most instances the inquiry will rely heavily, if not entirely, upon objective evidence. The court held that the magistrate and district court clear erred in failing to conclude that the officers deliberately employed the two-step interrogation technique. Further, no curative measures were taken by the officers to ensure that Reyes understood his Miranda warning and of the waiver.

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