Supreme Court




TheMiranda rights to remain silent are invoked once suspects are underarrest, and the arresting officer intends to ask the individuals somequestions. However, suspects can waive their rights to remain if theyunambiguously declare verbally or in writing that they fathom theyare entitled to silence or failure to give a reponse, but they wouldstill wish to respond to the questions the officers will ask.

Inthe Berghuis v. Thompkins (2009) case, the judged thatThompkins did not invoke his Mirada rights as he just opted to remainsilent during a large part of the interrogation. He did not sign aform to acknowledge that he was Mirandized. The court further arguedthat his occasional response to the interrogator`s questions, whilehe had acknowledged that he understood that he had no obligation toanswer to the questions, waivered his right.

Inthe Salinas v. Texas (2013) case, a police detective, requestedSalinas to accompany him to the police station for furtherinvestigation. He answered all the questions that the police asked,but he remained silent indefinitely after the detectives asked himwhether the bullet shells that were at the scene of the murder wouldmatch the bullets that were in a gun found at his residence. Duringthe interrogation, Salinas was not under arrest and the officer hadnot read Miranda rights for him. Fifteen years later, the prosecutionincluded Salina’s silence concerning whether the bullets at thescene of the accident would match the ones used to commit a murder asproof of his guilt. The argued that the Miranda rightsonly protect defendants from being forced to incriminate themselves,but it does not imply that suspects can keep quiet duringinterrogation without declaring his or her intention to invoke theMiranda rules.

Afterreading the Salinas v. Texas (2013) case, the ruling has changed mythoughts on the feasibility of the right. The ruling indicates thatMiranda warning can be used by anyone who is speaking to a lawenforcer in search of information. In addition, the Berghuis v.Thompkins (2009) case implies that if a suspect chooses not to answerto the questions asked during interrogation, he or she should remainsilent indefinitely. Answering the questions would imply that theoffender has waived the Miranda privilege.

Iagree with Salinas v. Texas (2013) case judgment because the suspecthad been answering questions, and all of sudden decided to remainsilent instead of answering the question asked. The suspect had notinvoked Miranda rights, and he also failed to declare the rightimmediately after he realized that he could incriminate himself if heanswered the detective’s question. I believe that Miranda rulesshould protect interrogators from forcefully acquiring informationfrom the defendants, instead of giving them an excuse to avoidanswering questions.

However,I do not agree with the Berghuis v. Thompkins (2009) case’s rulingthat answering some of the questions the interrogator asked wastantamount to wavering the Miranda rules. The suspects should bepermitted to answer harmless questions during interrogation withoutbeing presumed to have waivered their Miranda protection. Theprotection should only be considered to waver if a suspect makes anoutright declaration, either verbally or through writing, that he orshe has opted to waive the Miranda rule.


Harr,J. S., Hess, M. H., &amp Orthmann, C. H. (2012). Constitutional lawand the criminal justice system (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

SALINASv. TEXAS.The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 15 October 2014.&lt