Failure to Provide Miranda Warnings Before An Uncoerced Confession Does Not Necessarily Render a Second and Warned Statement Inadmissible
In Oregon v. Elstad, 470 U.S. 298, 304, 105 S. Ct. 1285, 84 L. Ed. 2d 222 (1985), the United States Supreme Court held that the failure to provide Miranda warnings before an uncoerced confession does not necessarily render a second and warned statement inadmissible.
Rather, the admissibility of the second statement is governed by whether the subsequent waiver was voluntary and knowing. Elstad, 470 U.S. at 309.
If a defendant is fully informed of and voluntarily waives his Miranda rights, the statement after the Miranda warnings is admissible. See Davis v. State, 698 So. 2d 1182, 1189 (Fla. 1997) ("Shortly after confessing in his holding cell, Davis gave a taped statement in which he voluntarily gave the same information contained in his prior statement . . . . This second statement was clearly admissible because Davis was fully informed of (and waived) his Miranda rights before the start of the taping session." (citing Elstad, 470 U.S. 298, 105 S. Ct. 1285, 84 L. Ed. 2d 222)).
Whether the second statement was voluntary requires a review of the totality of the circumstances. See Ramirez v. State, 739 So. 2d 568, 575-76 (Fla. 1999) (applying Elstad).
The United States Supreme Court addressed this area of the law again in Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600, 609, 124 S. Ct. 2601, 159 L. Ed. 2d 643 (2004) the United States Supreme Court held that a second confession was inadmissible when a police officer intentionally questioned a suspect without administering Miranda in order to elicit an unwarned confession that was then used to elicit a second warned confession.
The plurality explained the following:
The threshold issue when interrogators question first and warn later is . . . whether it would be reasonable to find that in these circumstances the warnings could function "effectively" as Miranda requires.
Could the warnings effectively advise the suspect that he had a real choice about giving an admissible statement at that juncture? Could they reasonably convey that he could choose to stop talking even if he had talked earlier?
Seibert, 542 U.S. at 611-12.
The plurality then listed several factors to assist in determining whether the Miranda warnings were effective:
the completeness and detail of the questions and answers in the first round of interrogation, the overlapping content of the two statements, the timing and setting of the first and the second, the continuity of police personnel, and the degree to which the interrogator's questions treated the second round as continuous with the first. Id. at 615.