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Week 3 – Assignment

The Right to Remain Silent

[WLOs: 2, 3] [CLOs: 2, 3, 5]

Prior to beginning your written assignment, read the Fifth Amendment (Links to an external site.) article, the Competency to Waive Fifth Amendment Rights during Custodial Interview (Links to an external site.) article, You Might Have the Right to Remain Silent: An Erosion of the Fifth Amendment With the Use of Pre-arrest Silence article, and the Miranda v. Arizona, 386 U.S. 436 (1966) court decision.

Read the following case scenario:

The former Sameer Shariff, a Saudi Arabian national who changed his name to “The Left Hand of God” and is known to his followers as “Hand,” is a suspected terrorist. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents believe that he is planning an imminent attack somewhere in Capital City. Under duress to prevent the attack, three DHS agents and three FBI agents storm into Hand’s house, burst into his bedroom, where he is in bed with a woman, and point shotguns at him. They demand to know what he is planning. No Miranda warnings are read. Hand tells them that he has hired Alex “Boom Boom” Jaxon, a known explosives expert, to plant a bomb in the Capital City Arena, with a timer to go off in three hours when the arena will be filled with over 20,000 people for a music concert.

Jaxon is known to the police and is in Central City, which is two hours away. He is arrested by Central City police and calls his lawyer in Capital City, who tells him he will meet him there and to remain silent. The lawyer then tells Central City police that they are not to question Jaxon until they arrive in Capital City and the lawyer is present.

Central City Police Officer McFadden drives Jaxon to Capital City. McFadden knows that DHS, FBI, and Capital City police are searching the arena, but McFadden is afraid they will not find the bomb in time. By the time that McFadden and Jaxon arrive in Central city, the concert hall is already full of audience members, and the show is set to begin in twenty minutes.

McFadden, who knows Jaxon’s family from previous police contacts, tells Jaxon that his mother and two brothers, who have been surveilled by the police for the last six weeks, are at the concert and will die if the bomb goes off. Jaxon leads McFadden to the bomb, which is defused. A crying Jaxon states that his purpose was to kill infidels, but he would never harm his family.

Research Fifth Amendment cases, including Miranda v. Arizona, 386 U.S. 436 (1966), which involves custodial interrogation and the right against self-incrimination.

In your paper,

  • Determine whether Hand was entitled to Miranda warnings.
  • Explain whether the fact that Hand was not a citizen of the United States affects his rights in relation to the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
  • Identify whether Hand’s questioning was custodial.
  • Explain whether McFadden’s statement abouthis family constitutes custodial interrogation.
  • Evaluate whether Hand’s statement can be used against him in a court of law.
  • Explain whether Jaxon’s statement be used against him in a court of law.
  • Determine whether Jaxon can testify against Hand.

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