Brief Fact Summary. Weir (Respondent) was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for his role in a stabbing at a nightclub; that decision was affirmed on appeal by the Kentucky Supreme Court. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky granted a habeas corpus writ, which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed; that decision is reviewed here.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A violation of due process does not occur when a suspect is impeached regarding his post-arrest silence, when there is no evidence that any Miranda warnings were given.
Issue. Was it a violation of Respondent’s due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to use Respondent’s post-arrest silence for impeachment purposes, where there was no evidence that Respondent had received the required Miranda warnings?
Held. No; no violation of due process occurs under such circumstances when evidence of Miranda warnings being given is absent and when Respondent took the stand and was cross-examined.
Defendant's failure to speak occurred before he was taken into custody and given Miranda warnings, and no governmental action induced defendant to remain silent before arrest.View Full Point of Law