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Research Paper: Part 1 – Cases Summary Instructions
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Strayer University
CRJ 310 - Law Enforcement Operations and Management
Research Paper: Part 1 – Cases Summary Instructions
Since 1963, a series of United States Supreme Court case decisions have clarified that
in+criminal+cases, prosecutors must disclose to the defense evidence favorable to the defendant.
This includes information that may be used to impeach the credibility of government witnesses,
including+law+enforcement officers. These decisions mean that police officers who have
documented histories of lying in official matters are liabilities to their agencies, and these
histories may render them unable to testify credibly.+
Summarize the main issues that are involved in the following United States Supreme Court
cases. You must have pages, not including your title page.+
Berghuis v. Thompkins - Analyzing the Right to Remain Silent:
Berghuis v. Thompkins is a U.S. Supreme Court case from 2010 that addresses the right to
remain silent during police interrogations and the waiver of that right. Answer the following
questions:
1. What constitutional issue did Berghuis v. Thompkins address, and how did the case
contribute to the legal standards surrounding the right to remain silent and the waiver
of that right?
Berghuis v. Thompkins (2010) addressed the constitutional issue of whether a suspect's right to
remain silent under the Fifth Amendment was waived when he remained largely silent during a
police interrogation but later made an incriminating statement. The specific question was
whether a suspect must explicitly invoke his right to remain silent or if remaining silent during
an interrogation is sufficient to invoke the right.
In the case, Van Chester Thompkins was suspected of involvement in a shooting and was
interrogated by the police. Thompkins remained mostly silent during the interrogation but
eventually answered a crucial question in a way that was incriminating. The Supreme Court, in a
5-4 decision, held that Thompkins had not invoked his right to remain silent in a clear and
unambiguous manner. The majority opinion stated that a suspect must articulate the right to
remain silent in order for it to be invoked, and merely remaining silent during questioning is not
enough to exercise that right.
This decision contributed to the legal standards surrounding the right to remain silent and the
waiver of that right by clarifying that suspects must affirmatively invoke their right to remain