Michael Avery


The Supreme Court will decide in the October 2002 term whether there is a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 based on a coercive police interrogation of a suspect in custody who has not been given Miranda warnings. The Supreme Court cannot decide that there is no cause of action under section 1983 for damages caused by coercive interrogation practices without turning its back on a large body of its own jurisprudence and on the deeply rooted cultural and political expectations of American citizens who trust that they have a meaningfu lconstitutionally protected right to remain silent when in police custody. Recognizing a Section 1983 cause of action would be an important historical step in securing the liberty promised by the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause.