In the historic case that defined defendant’s rights, Miranda v.
Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s guarantee
against self-incrimination required that police advise criminal suspects
that they have a right to remain silent and a right to have a lawyer present
when they are taken into custody for questioning.
The court has recently ruled that police now need to factor in a suspect’s
age when deciding whether they must give them Miranda warnings.
Under earlier rulings, the court said that whether a suspect was “in
custody” for Miranda purposes depended on the circumstances of the
interrogation and whether a “reasonable person” would feel
free to leave.
In its new decision, the court concludes that age matters because a teenager
is likely to think he is not free to leave an interrogation even if a
reasonable adult would think otherwise. Thus they have created the “reasonable