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SCOW to decide whether incarceration is per se “custody” under Miranda

State v. Brian Halverson, 2018AP858-CR, review of a published court of appeals opinion granted 3/17/20; affirmed 1/29/21; case activity (including briefs)


Whether a person who is interrogated by police while incarcerated is “in custody” and entitled to a Miranda warning under either the federal or state constitution?

Whether, under the totality of the circumstances, Halverson, who was incarcerated in jail was “in custody” when police interrogated him?

In State v. Armstrong, 223 Wis. 2d 331, 588 N.W.2d 606 (1999) the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that it could think of no situation in which a defendant is more clearly in Miranda custody than when he is confined in prison or jail. Recently, the United States Supreme Court rejected this bright line rule and held that the defendant’s incarceration is just the first step in the analysis. To determine whether a defendant is in custody for Miranda purposes, a court must consider the totality of the circumstances including the same inherently coercive pressures used at station house questioning. Howes v. Fields, 565 U.S. 499 (2012).  See our analysis of the court of appeals opinion here.

Did Howes effectively overrule Armstrong? SCOW will tell us next term.



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