Supreme Court Rules Suspects Must Say They Want to Remain Silent

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

Staying silent is no longer an option for crime suspects. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled a suspect has to say they want to remain silent in order to invoke their Miranda Rights.

Already some West Texans are reacting to the controversial decision.

Most people know the Miranda warning from TV shows and pop culture, but local police say a version of those 55 words daily.

They're happy suspects now have to reply and say they want to remain silent.

"I think it's a good ruling because we're not mind readers," Sgt. David Garcia with the Midland Police Department, said. "If they come out and say, 'Well, I want to invoke my right to remain silent.' Then we take it as implied, they want to quit talking to us, so we stop."

But defense attorney Gerald Lopez isn't pleased.

"I felt that it was one of the most stupid decisions that they've come up with," he said.

Lopez fears some interrogators will use it as a loop hole to trick suspects into incriminating themselves.

"This is going to lead to a lot more problems," Lopez said. "From our point of view, daily we hear about people's rights being trampled on and I think this just encourages interrogators to keep on doing that kind of activity."

Sergeant Garcia thinks technology will hold everyone accountable.

The Midland Police Department has a multitude of ways to prove someone was read their Miranda Rights. They carry a recording device on their belt and have a camera at the front of their car and in the back.

Many West Texans are still reviewing the decision, but one woman doesn't think it's a big deal.

"I really don't think it's going to make a difference," Odessa resident, Kandie Hemmingson said. "I think that's just recited and people don't really pay attention to it any ways."

Only time will tell if the decision changes things for better or worse.