As part of an investigation into illegal narcotics activity, police officers went to the home of Cindy Lou Cates and interviewed her about her involvement in buying and selling narcotics. Cates had realized that the officers wanted to interview her and therefore asked a friend to arrange the meeting, stating her desire to cooperate with the investigation. The officers drove an unmarked car, were not in uniform, and did not draw their weapons at any time during the interview. The interview took place on the porch of her house, and Cates was free to leave when she so desired. The officers stressed to Cates that whether or not she submitted to the interview was a choice that had to be of her own free will. Cates never indicated a desire not to talk. At different times, she got up from her chair and entered the house, unescorted. The interview lasted several hours. During the interview, Cates recounted her activities buying and selling narcotics, including that she purchased narcotics from a number of individuals and resold to others. Two months after the interview, Cates was indicted by a grand jury. During her trial, her attorney moved to dismiss any statements she had made to the officers during her interview with them and later in the trial asked the court to declare a mistrial. The attorney argued that these statements were made during custodial interrogation and without the benefit of Miranda warnings. The attorney claimed that Miranda warnings must be given whenever law enforcement officers interrogate a suspect who has been arrested or whenever under any other circumstances the suspect is deprived of his or her freedom of action in any significant way. The judge in the lower court ruled that no mistrial was warranted in this case, and Cates was convicted. She appealed her case. Should the appeals court uphold Cates’s conviction?

  • CreatedSeptember 15, 2015
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