Sunday, July 07, 2013

"We're done here" means "we're done here"

Sam S. Kepfield won in State v. Morse, No. 108,429 (Kan. App. June 14, 2013)(unpublished), affirming Judge Rose's suppression order in a Reno County theft prosecution. The appeal involved whether Mr. Morse had invoked his right to remain silent.  During interrogation, Mr. Morse told officers "You know, I think [waves arm] I think we're done here . You know, I mean, you guys, if you guys had, you guys want to arrest me for this, then arrest me for this but you, you got nothing."  But the officer continued the interrogation.  The COA agreed with Judge Rose that this was an unequivocal invocation:
In this case, a reasonable police officer would have understood Morse's statement taken in tandem with the physical act of waving his arms to be an invocation of the right to remain silent. Rather than saying “I think we might be done here” or “I'm not sure if we're done here,” Morse interrupted Blumanhorst's new and harsh line of questioning by saying, “I think we're done here.” As he spoke, Morse waved his arm as if to cut off further questioning from Blumanhorst. Morse did make an additional statement after invoking his right to remain silent, but he was professing his innocence in response to Blumanhorst's accusatory suggestion that he knew how long the radiator had been in the river. Instead of ending the interrogation, Blumanhorst pressed Morse for an answer to his last question.
[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on July 18, 2013.]

No comments: