US v. Jackson, No. 07-2510 (10/8/08). This is strange. Judge Dyk of the Federal Circuit sides with a defendant. Usually when he is sitting by designation he rubber-stamps the District Court, sending someone to jail for a long time. Anyway, let’s take a look at what is so bad.
It is a Miranda case. The District Court found that the defendant was in custody, but not interrogated.
The cops did that silly cop thing they do to lay people: they hint at leniency. No true American believes that crap. During the course of this conversation at an apartment, the defendant said he might know where a gun was (as it wasn’t in the apartment), but he would need a couple of hours to find it. The cop said he wasn’t free to leave. Then they officers obtained “consent” to search the place from someone else. Two guns were found, including one that the defendant “volunteered” was in a box of “Fruity Pebbles.” Judge Dyk says that the question isn’t whether the defendant responds to a particular question but whether “The entire course of conduct of the officers must be examined to determine whether the statement was in response to unlawful questioning under Miranda.” Judge Dyk seems to indicate that the silly cop-talk regarding possible leniency speaks to whether this is interrogation or not.
At the end, the First says that the actual guns need not be supressed.