US Supreme Court removes civil remedy for police violations of Miranda rights     

Article by Fair Trials

The US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Vega v Tekoh means that people who are suspected of a crime cannot sue police officers for civil damages if they fail to warn them that they have the right to remain silent.

Self-incriminating statements that are made in interviews where a suspect has not been read their Miranda rights can still be excluded from a criminal trial but this rarely happens as over 97% of US criminal cases are resolved through plea bargaining.

“This ruling removes yet another mechanism for holding police accountable for violating the rights of people who are suspected of a crime,” warned Fair Trials’ Global CEO Norman L. Reimer.

“Because coercive plea practices are so prevalent in the United States, individuals are often forced to waive their right to challenge police misconduct. Thus, we cannot just rely on court trials to provide a remedy for the violation of Miranda rights. We need to ensure that there are other accountability mechanisms to ensure that the police respect the procedural rights of anyone who is suspected of a crime.”

The Justices of the Supreme Court voted to limit Miranda rights by six to three.

Read more about Fair Trials’ work to protect the rights of people who have been accused of a crime.