Kids in custody must be read Miranda

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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Everyone being taken into custody must be advised of the Miranda rule, no matter what age the person is, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals in overturning a nine-year-old child's adjudication as a delinquent child.

In C.L.M. v. State of Indiana, 35A05-0706-JV-342, C.L.M., appealed the ruling that he was a delinquent child for committing what would have constituted as a Class C felony child molestation if it was committed by an adult, arguing he was never read his Miranda rights while being interviewed in custody.

C.L.M.'s mother, Sheila, found him and his three-year-old sister, A.B., lying on top of each other, with stomachs touching. A.B. had her pants down to her knees and C.L.M.'s pants were down at his thighs; both still had on underwear. The mother saw the children "in motion," did not see their "private areas touching," and immediately pulled the children apart.

The mother brought her children to the Child Advocacy Center for an interview, and Sheila informed a caseworker and police detective what she had seen. Detective Mel Hunnicutt interviewed C.L.M. alone twice; the boy said it was A.B.'s idea that they "hump," later admitted he initiated the contact, and that he touched his sister's crotch with his hand.

The State filed a petition alleging delinquency, stating C.L.M. was a delinquent child for committing what would have been a Class C felony for child molestation if he were an adult. C.L.M's attorney attempted to suppress C.L.M.'s testimony on grounds he was in custody and not read his Miranda rights. The court denied the motion to suppress and issued an order adjudicating C.L.M. as a delinquent child.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, citing no one disputes the fact C.L.M. did not receive the Miranda warning nor was he given the opportunity to speak to his mother before answering questions. Even though C.L.M. was not under arrest and free to go at any time, he was never told that by the detective. Because the boy was in custody, he should have been given a Miranda warning.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.