Answering Police Questions Before Arrest Cases

In United States v. Jackson, police officers approached the defendant to question him about two women who had been run over by an automobile. the officers continued to question him without arresting him after he stated, "I did it. I'm sorry." United States v. Jackson, 712 F.2d 1283, 1285 (8th Cir. 1983).

That court opined that the time which begins the period in which the defendant must be presented to a magistrate starts as soon as the police have probable cause to arrest. Id.

Nevertheless, the court held that, based on the case law relating to voluntary confessions, the police's failure to promptly arrest after having probable cause did not make the declaration involuntary. Id. at 1287.

In Everetts v. United States, the police captured a sixteen-year-old boy suspected of robbing and killing another man. While they had the defendant handcuffed to a desk for eight hours, the boy made a confession which he later argued was involuntary and in violation of his Miranda rights. Everetts v. United States, 627 A.2d 981 (D.C. 1993).

The court was disturbed by the facts in that case; it declared, "In short, our concerns in this case must serve as a warning to the police that unnecessary pre-presentment delay of this length, aggravated by factors such as youth, will be met with serious skepticism by the courts of this jurisdiction about the voluntariness of an ensuing Miranda waiver." Id. at 985-86.

Still, the court held that defendant's confession was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. Id. at 986.