How will you decide this legal issue? Was Crawford’s confession illegally obtained because it violated Miranda or because it was involuntary?

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How will you decide this legal issue? Was Crawford’s confession illegally obtained because it violated Miranda or because it was involuntary?

Scenario

In 1998, FBI Special Agent Bowdich received information from an unnamed source that a person named "Ralphy Rabbit" had participated in an armed robbery of a Bank of America branch on Ulrich Street. At some time before July 2000, Agent Bowdich had come to believe that Crawford was "Ralphy Rabbit" and learned that he was on state parole. He arranged with Crawford’s parole officer to do a parole search of Crawford’s residence with the intention of using the search to talk to Crawford about the Ulrich Street bank robbery. During the search, which was conducted by four California State officers, Agent Bowdich pulled Crawford aside and tried to gain his confidence. He said he just wanted to talk about an old bank robbery. It was obvious that during the search the state officers found no evidence of any crime, but until that point Crawford was held in the apartment. Crawford indicated he would feel more comfortable talking somewhere away from his home where the state officers were conducting the search. Bowdich offered his office, and Crawford agreed. He, Crawford, and San Diego Police detective Gutierrez drove together to the FBI field office in Dan Diego. During the twenty-minute ride Crawford was not asked any questions. At the FBI offices, Agent Bowdich asked Crawford to sign a Miranda waiver form, "Just to make things as clean as possible." Crawford exclaimed, "So I’m under arrest?" Agent Bowdich and Detective Gutierrez assured him he was not under arrest and that he was free to leave. No further attempt to discuss Crawford’s Miranda rights was made by either agent. At no point was Crawford threatened or made any promises. They questioned him for more than an hour, and eventually Crawford admitted both to participating in the Ulrich Street bank robbery and to carrying a gun in the course of that robbery. The officers ended the interview by returning Crawford to his home. He was indicted by a federal grand jury a few weeks later for the Ulrich Street bank robbery. How will you decide this legal issue? Was Crawford’s confession illegally obtained because it violated Miranda or because it was involuntary?

Scenario

In 1998, FBI Special Agent Bowdich received information from an unnamed source that a person named “Ralphy Rabbit” had participated in an armed robbery of a Bank of America branch on Ulrich Street. At some time before July 2000, Agent Bowdich had come to believe that Crawford was “Ralphy Rabbit” and learned that he was on state parole. He arranged with Crawford’s parole officer to do a parole search of Crawford’s residence with the intention of using the search to talk to Crawford about the Ulrich Street bank robbery. During the search, which was conducted by four California State officers, Agent Bowdich pulled Crawford aside and tried to gain his confidence. He said he just wanted to talk about an old bank robbery. It was obvious that during the search the state officers found no evidence of any crime, but until that point Crawford was held in the apartment. Crawford indicated he would feel more comfortable talking somewhere away from his home where the state officers were conducting the search. Bowdich offered his office, and Crawford agreed. He, Crawford, and San Diego Police detective Gutierrez drove together to the FBI field office in Dan Diego. During the twenty-minute ride Crawford was not asked any questions. At the FBI offices, Agent Bowdich asked Crawford to sign a Miranda waiver form, “Just to make things as clean as possible.” Crawford exclaimed, “So I’m under arrest?” Agent Bowdich and Detective Gutierrez assured him he was not under arrest and that he was free to leave. No further attempt to discuss Crawford’s Miranda rights was made by either agent. At no point was Crawford threatened or made any promises. They questioned him for more than an hour, and eventually Crawford admitted both to participating in the Ulrich Street bank robbery and to carrying a gun in the course of that robbery. The officers ended the interview by returning Crawford to his home. He was indicted by a federal grand jury a few weeks later for the Ulrich Street bank robbery.

How will you decide this legal issue? Was Crawford’s confession illegally obtained because it violated Miranda or because it was involuntary?


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