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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
Oregon v. Elstad
Citation:470 U.S. 298, 105 S.Ct. 1285, 84 L.Ed.2d 222.
In December 1981, a home was burglarized. A witness to the burglary contacted the police, implicating the defendant, an 18-year-old neighbor and friend of the victim’s teenage son. The officers’ went to the defendant’s home with a warrant for his arrest. The defendant and his mom were home. The officer asked the defendant if he was aware of why they were there. He stated that he had no idea. The officer then asked him if he knew of the victim, and the defendant said that he knew him and also heard that there was a robbery. The officer told the defendant that he felt he was involved in that, and the defendant stated, “Yes, I was there.”
The defendant was transported to the sheriff’s head quarters, and approximately one hour later, he was read his Miranda rights for the first time. The defendant indicated he understood his rights, and, having these rights in mind, wished to speak with the officers. He gave a full written statement, explaining that he had known that the victim’s family was out of town and had been paid to lead several acquaintances to their residence and show them how to gain entry through a defective sliding glass door.
At trial, the State conceded that the defendant had been in custody when he made his statement, “I was there,” and accordingly it was inadmissible as having been given without Miranda warnings. However, the State maintained that the defendant’s written statement at the headquarters was not “tainted” by the earlier unwarned statement. The trial court admitted the written statement and the defendant was convicted. The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed. The State appealed.
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