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Court lets stand a ruling that a 10-year-old can validly waive Miranda rights

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 19, 2015
Updated: Monday, October 19, 2015

The California Supreme Court refused Friday to review the conviction of a Riverside County boy who at age 10 killed his neo-Nazi father, letting stand a ruling that said someone that young can knowingly waive their legal right to remain silent.

 

The court, meeting in closed session, voted 4 to 3 against hearing the case, with the three justices appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown dissenting, according to an order issued Friday.

 

The boy, identified as Joseph H., shot and killed his father while the man was sleeping on the couch. There was evidence that the father, a drug addict, had repeatedly physically abused the boy and his stepmother and had threatened to burn down their home with the family inside.

 

Court records said Joseph was of low-average intelligence, suffered from attention deficit disorder, had been exposed to many illicit drugs when his mother was pregnant and had been kicked out of several schools for violent behavior.

 

The issue before the court was whether Joseph validly waived his Miranda rights when he confessed to police. Two lower courts upheld the waiver.


Read the whole story at The Los Angeles Times

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