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Wed November 16, 2011
Michigan appeals court allows blurted confession
The state Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial in the case of a man charged with murder during a robbery gone awry.
The court says a detective investigating the case did not violate the man’s Fifth Amendment rights by continuing a conversation after the defendant invoked his right to remain silent.
The detective stopped asking questions once Kadeem Dennis White invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, but the detective continued to try to engage White in a conversation.
During that brief conversation, White blurted out that he never intended to shoot the victim.
The prosecution tried to use that admission against White in court, but the judge ordered the statements could not be used. The court of appeals reversed that decision, and said White knowingly waived his right to remain silent when he spoke to the investigator.
It was a two-to-one split decision by the appeals panel.
One dissenting judge argued that continuing to try to engage White in a conversation was the functional equivalent of an interrogation that should have stopped once the defendant said he would remain silent.
The defense could appeal the case to the Michigan Supreme Court.