ST. LOUIS – Citizens’ rights to remain silent during police interrogations took a big hit in a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court decision, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The decision regarded the Vega v. Tekoh case. A man sued a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. The man says the deputy interrogated him and refused to allow the man to contact a lawyer. That man sued. The civil case when to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled the man could not sue the deputy for monetary damages. The Court’s six conservative justices ruled in favor of the final opinion. The Courts three liberal justices opposed the ruling.

The right to remain silent during interrogations was decided in the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona case. After Thursday’s ruling, the ACLU issued a statement saying in part, “An individual who is denied Miranda warnings and whose compelled statements are introduced against them in a criminal trial cannot sue the police officer who violated their rights, even where a criminal jury finds them not guilty of any crime.”

This comes after a May 2022 decision by the Court. People convicted in state court could previously turn to the federal system for new trials with new evidence of inadequate legal representation. The High Court ruled federal courts can still hear these cases. However, those courts cannot hear new evidence, even if it will help exonerate a wrongfully convicted person.

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