Matt Kaplan recently argued before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals a case that may set an important precedent relating to police interrogation of suspects.
Mr. Kaplan, on behalf of his client, argued that police officers improperly interrogated his client without giving him the warnings required by the Supreme Court’s landmark Miranda v. Arizona decision. The U.S. government–which prosecuted this case–argued that the half-hour interaction between the police and the appellant should be broken into many individual segments and that some of those segments constituted interrogation, but that some did not and that, consequently, the admissibility of statements made during those segments was not affected by the failure to provide the Miranda warnings. Mr. Kaplan argued that this made no sense–there was a single conversation between the police and the person they had detained and the interaction needed to be analyzed as a whole.
The members of the three-judge panel who heard the appeal seemed skeptical of the government’s position. But a final decision in the case may not come for some time.
The oral argument, which was held over Zoom because of the ongoing COVID-10 pandemic, is available on YouTube (the first of three arguments on the video). The case is Millhausen v. United States, No. 19-CF-47.
Matthew B. Kaplan is The Kaplan Law Firm’s Principal Attorney.