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Memorandum confirms FBI’s efforts to bypass Miranda

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When Barack Obama named Eric Holder as his Attorney General, I blogged on Barack Obama as Samuel Beckett in "Waiting for the Change" .

It turns out that two years later, last October 2010, Holder’s Justice Department, through the FBI, issued this memorandum ("Miranda Memorandum") directing FBI agents on bypassing Miranda warnings, "if applicable", for questions "reasonably prompted by an immediate concern for the safety of the public or the arresting agents without advising the arrestee of his Miranda rights." Although the Supreme Court in New York v. Quarles recognized a public safety exception to the Miranda rule, Quarles dealt with the immediate danger of a reported handgun on the suspect, with Miranda warnings being able immediately to remove the danger. The FBI Memorandum, though, goes well beyond such immediacy, and acknowledges that failing to warn timely of Miranda rights can result in having the un-Mirandized statements excluded from criminal trials.

Thanks to my fellow listserv member who posted the New York Times‘s article on the FBI Memorandum.