Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Police

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that police will no longer have to pay money damages if they fail to advise suspects on their rights prior to obtaining incriminating statements that could be used in the future to prosecute.

Los Angeles County Sherriff Carlos Vega won his case when the Justices ruled in favor 6-3, after he had appealed a lower court decision that revived a lawsuit that had been lodged against Vega by a suspect who had been accused of sexual assault while working in a hospital.

The hospital employee, Terence Tekoh, accused Vega of not advising him of his rights before he had given the officer a full written confession, saying Vega violated his Fifth Amendment rights, which protects against self-incrimination.

As a result, Tekoh was acquitted at trial – the incident took place in 2014, when a patient alleged that Tekoh, who worked as an attendant, sexually assaulted her while she was incapacitated on a hospital bed.

According to officer Vega, the suspect had voluntarily given a full written confession to the assault and at the time was not under arrest, nor was he in custody. Tekoh insisted Vega had forced a confession from him after a lengthy interrogation.

The hospital assistant was subsequently arrested and charged with sexual assault and his confession was used against him in court.

However, the jury sided with Tekoh and acquitted him. Shortly after, Tekoh filed a lawsuit against Vega, accusing the officer of violating Tekoh’s Fifth Amendment rights by coercing a confession without first giving him any Miranda warnings.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2021 ordered a new trial on officer Vega’s liability.

The 9th Circuit found that using a statement taken without first giving a Miranda warning in a criminal trial, violates the Fifth Amendment – which set a precedent for suspects to claim monetary damages against the officer who obtains the statement.

During his appeal to the Supreme Court, Vega’s attorneys argued in a legal filing that the previous court’s decision threatened to “saddle police departments nationwide with extraordinary burdens in connection with lawful and appropriate investigative work.” Vega’s lawyers added that “virtually any police interaction with a criminal suspect” might lead to liability for officers.

The Supreme Court’s six conservative Justices supported Vega, while the three liberal Justices were against. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the ruling.

The ruling undoes a previous Supreme Court ruling – 1966 Miranda v. Arizona – that stipulates that under the Fifth Amendment, criminal suspects must be advised of their rights to remain silent and the right to an attorney to be present during any interrogations, before any statements can be used in a court of law.


Most Popular

These content links are provided by Content.ad. Both Content.ad and the web site upon which the links are displayed may receive compensation when readers click on these links. Some of the content you are redirected to may be sponsored content. View our privacy policy here.

To learn how you can use Content.ad to drive visitors to your content or add this service to your site, please contact us at [email protected].

Family-Friendly Content

Website owners select the type of content that appears in our units. However, if you would like to ensure that Content.ad always displays family-friendly content on this device, regardless of what site you are on, check the option below. Learn More



Most Popular
Sponsored Content

These content links are provided by Content.ad. Both Content.ad and the web site upon which the links are displayed may receive compensation when readers click on these links. Some of the content you are redirected to may be sponsored content. View our privacy policy here.

To learn how you can use Content.ad to drive visitors to your content or add this service to your site, please contact us at [email protected].

Family-Friendly Content

Website owners select the type of content that appears in our units. However, if you would like to ensure that Content.ad always displays family-friendly content on this device, regardless of what site you are on, check the option below. Learn More

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published.