Berghuis v. Thompkins

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union in support of respondent Van Chester Thompkins.

Brief filed: 01/26/2010


Berghuis v. Thompkins

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 08-1470

Prior Decision

Decision below 547 F.3d 572 (6th Cir. 2008)


Prior to a 2 ½ hour interrogation, Thompkins was read his Miranda rights and acknowledged that he understood them. Although he did not formally invoke his right to remain silent, he remained virtually silent throughout questioning until finally a detective testified that he asked Thompkins whether he had asked God to forgive him for “shooting that boy down,” and he answered “yes.” Brief argues that Thompkins effectively invoked his right to remain silent by remaining silent during the interrogation and that any “implied waiver” of that right must occur much more quickly than the purported waiver on these facts.

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Jonathan L. Abram, et al., Hogan & Hartson LLP, Washington, DC.