Reversed Death Sentence Because Police Officer's Failure to Advise Rights
X was convicted of capital murder and was sentenced to death.
The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed X's conviction, based on the police officer's failure to advise him of his rights under Rule 11(B), Ala.R.Juv.P. (the "juvenile Miranda" rights).
That court reversed the conviction despite the fact that the officer had advised X of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966).
The Court of Criminal Appeals' decision was based on Anderson v. State, 729 So. 2d 900 (Ala. Crim. App. 1998), and Young v. State, 730 So. 2d 1251 (Ala. Crim. App. 1998).
That court wrote:
"We held in Anderson that there was 'nothing in the language of Ala. Code 1975, 12-15-34.1 the statute that enumerates those charges for which juveniles shall be "charged, arrested, and tried as an adult."
to support the state's contention that the rights granted a child pursuant to Rule 11(B) are extinguished by the fact that a child alleged to have committed an offense enumerated in that statute "shall be charged, arrested, and tried as an adult" and automatically subjected to the jurisdiction of the adult system.' 729 So. 2d at 903.
The language of 12-15-34.1 does not divest the child of the protections afforded by Rule 11(B), and it does not change the statutory definition of 'child.'
Because 12-15-34.1 does not state that a juvenile loses the right to be treated as a juvenile when an offense is alleged to have been committed, but only when he or she is charged with one of the offenses enumerated in 12-15-34.1, to hold otherwise, as we noted in Young, would place upon police investigators at an interrogation the burden of deciding whether a child should be afforded the rights guaranteed by Rule 11(B) before any formal decision has been made as to whether the child will be arrested or charged with an offense for which he or she will be tried as an adult.
We rely on our rationale in Anderson and Young in holding that X's custodial statement was improperly admitted in evidence because X was not informed that he had a right to communicate with his parent or guardian, as provided in Rule 11(B), Ala.R.Juv.P." So. 2d at.