Miranda warnings; custody
A suspect was not in custody at the time of his confession, where he twice consented to be interviewed, there was no display of force or physical touching, the officers and agents used a monotone tone of voice, and even though the agents did not tell him that he was free to leave, they did assure him that he was not under arrest.
“[A]lthough the interview took place in the campus police station, this fact is not dispositive. Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495 (1977) (stating that Miranda rights are not required ‘simply because the questioning takes place in the station house, or because the questioned person is one whom the police suspect’). The relevant inquiry is still whether a reasonable person would have felt free to leave. Here, Littledale was led to a private office in the campus police station (not an interrogation room or an interview room), he twice consented to be interviewed in the office space, he was not a suspect at the time the agents led him to the office, and the agents brought Littledale to a more private space only because they wanted to avoid discussing child pornography in front of Littledale’s peers. These facts, along with the agents’ conduct described above, lead us to conclude that under the totality of circumstances a reasonable person would have felt free to leave. We therefore affirm the district court’s holding that Littledale was not in custody and that the agents were not required to read him his Miranda rights.”
10-3063 U.S. v. Littledale
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kennelly, J., Bauer, J.