On February 21, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Howes v. Fields. The question in this case was whether a prisoner who was removed from the general prison population for the purpose of being questioned about outside events was “in custody” during his interrogation, and therefore entitled to Miranda warnings.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held by a vote of 6-3 that, under the facts of this case, the prisoner was not “in custody” for Miranda purposes. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Kagan joined Justice Alito’s opinion. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, which was joined by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor.
To discuss the case, we have Mark Brnovich, who is the Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming and a former federal and state prosecutor.