OCTOBER TERM, 1992
certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the sixth circuit
No. 91-1030. Argued November 3, 1992—Decided April 21, 1993
After a police sergeant threatened to "lock [him] up" during a station house interrogation about a double murder, respondent Williams made inculpatory statements. He was then advised of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, waived those rights, and made more inculpatory statements. The Michigan trial court declined to suppress his statements on the ground that he had been given timely Miranda warnings, and he was convicted of first-degree murder and related crimes. Williams subsequently commenced this habeas action pro se, alleging a Miranda violation as his principal ground for relief. The District Court granted relief, finding that all statements made between the sergeant's incarceration threat and Williams' receipt of Miranda warnings should have been suppressed. Without conducting an evidentiary hearing or entertaining argument, the court also ruled that the statements Williams made after receiving the Miranda warnings should have been suppressed as involuntary under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court of Appeals agreed on both points and affirmed, summarily rejecting the argument that the rule in Stone v. Powell, 428 U. S. 465—that when a State has given a full and fair chance to litigate a Fourth Amendment claim, federal habeas review is not available to a state prisoner alleging that his conviction rests on evidence obtained through an unconstitutional search or seizure—should apply to bar habeas review of Williams' Miranda claim.
Held: 1. Stone's restriction on the exercise of federal habeas jurisdiction does not extend to a state prisoner's claim that his conviction rests on statements obtained in violation of the Miranda safeguards. The Stone rule was not jurisdictional in nature, but was based on prudential concerns counseling against applying the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule of Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U. S. 643, on collateral review. Miranda differs from Mapp with respect to such concerns, and Stone consequently does not apply. In contrast to Mapp, Miranda safeguards a fundamental trial right by protecting a defendant's Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Moreover, Miranda facilitates the correct ascertainment of guilt by guarding against the use of unreliable statements at trial. Finally, and most importantly, eliminating review ofPage: Index 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next
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