We consider whether a break in custody ends the presumption of involuntariness established in Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U. S. 477 (1981).
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“[W]hen an accused has invoked his right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, a valid waiver of that right cannot be established by showing only that he responded to further police-initiated custodial interrogation even if he has been advised of hisrights. . . . [He] is not subject to further interrogationby the authorities until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused himself initiates further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police.” 451 U. S., at 484–485.
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It is easy to believe that a suspect may be coerced or badgered into abandoning his earlier refusal to be questioned without counsel in the paradigm Edwards case. That is a case in which the suspect has been arrested for a particular crime and is held in uninterrupted pretrialcustody while that crime is being actively investigated. After the initial interrogation, and up to and including the second one, he remains cut off from his normal life and companions, “thrust into” and isolated in an “unfamiliar,” “police-dominated atmosphere,” Miranda, 384 U. S., at 456–457, where his captors “appear to control [his] fate,” Illinois v. Perkins, 496 U. S. 292, 297 (1990). . . . .
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When . . . a suspect has been released from his pretrial custody and has returned to his normal life for some time before the later attempted interrogation, there is little reason to think that his change of heart regarding interrogation without counsel has been coerced. He has no longer been isolated. He has likely been able to seek advice from an attorney, family members, and friends. [Footnote omitted.] And he knows from his earlier experience that he need only demand counsel to bring the interrogation to a halt; and that investigative custody does not last indefinitely. In these circumstances, it is far fetched to think that a police officer’s asking the suspect whether he would like to waive his Miranda rights will any more “wear down the accused,” Smith v. Illinois, 469 U. S. 91, 98 (1984) (per curiam), than did the first such request at the original attempted interrogation—which is of course not deemed coercive. His change of heart is less likely attributable to “badgering” than it is to the fact that further deliberation in familiar surroundings has caused him to believe (rightly or wrongly) that cooperating with the investigation is in his interest. . . . .
At the same time that extending the Edwards rule yields diminished benefits, extending the rule also increases its costs: the in-fact voluntary confessions it excludes from trial, and the voluntary confessions it deters law enforcement officers from even trying to obtain. . . . .
The only logical endpoint of Edwards disability is termination of Miranda custody and any of its lingering effects. Without that limitation—and barring some purely arbitrary time-limit [footnote omitted] —every Edwards prohibition of custodial interrogation of a particular suspect would be eternal. The prohibition applies, of course, when the subsequent interrogation pertains to a different crime, Roberson, supra, when it is conducted by a different law enforcement authority, Minnick, 498 U. S. 146, and even when the suspect has met with an attorney after the first interrogation, ibid. And it not only prevents questioning ex ante; it would render invalid ex post, confessions invited and obtained from suspects who (unbeknownst to the interrogators) have acquired Edwards immunity previously in connection with any offense in any jurisdiction. [Footnote omitted.] In a country that harbors a large number of repeat offenders, [footnote omitted] this consequence is disastrous.
We conclude that such an extension of Edwards is not justified; we have opened its “protective umbrella,” Solem, 465 U. S., at 644, n. 4, far enough. The protections offered by Miranda, which we have deemed sufficient to ensure that the police respect the suspect’s desire to have anattorney present the first time police interrogate him, adequately ensure that result when a suspect who initially requested counsel is reinterrogated after a break in custody that is of sufficient duration to dissipate its coercive effects.
If Shatzer’s return to the general prison population qualified as a break in custody (a question we address in Part III, infra), there is no doubt that it lasted long enough (2½ years) to meet that durational requirement. But what about a break that has lasted only one year? Or only one week? It is impractical to leave the answer tothat question for clarification in future case-by-case adjudication; law enforcement officers need to know, with certainty and beforehand, when renewed interrogation is lawful. . . . .
. . . We think it appropriate to specify a period of time to avoid the consequence that continuation of the Edwards presumption “will not reach the correct result most of the time.” Coleman, supra, at 737. It seems to us that period is 14 days. That provides plenty of time for the suspect to get reacclimated to his normal life, to consult with friends and counsel, and to shake off any residual coercive effects of his prior custody.
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The facts of this case present an additional issue. No one questions that Shatzer was in custody for Miranda purposes during the interviews with Detective Blankenship in 2003 and Detective Hoover in 2006. Likewise, no one questions that Shatzer triggered the Edwards protections when, according to Detective Blankenship’snotes of the 2003 interview, he stated that “‘he would not talk about this case without having an attorney present,’” 405 Md., at 589, 954 A. 2d, at 1120. After the 2003 interview, Shatzer was released back into the general prison population where he was serving an unrelated sentence. The issue is whether that constitutes a break in Miranda custody.We have never decided whether incarceration constitutes custody for Miranda purposes, and have indeed explicitly declined to address the issue. . . . Whether it does depends upon whether it exerts the coercive pressure that Miranda was designed to guard against—the “danger of coercion [that] results from the interaction of custody and official interrogation.” . . . .
Here, we are addressing the interim period during which a suspect was not interrogated, but was subject to a baseline set of restraints imposed pursuant to a prior conviction. Without minimizing the harsh realities of incarceration, we think lawful imprisonment imposed upon conviction of a crime does not create the coercive pressures identified in Miranda.
Interrogated suspects who have previously been convicted of crime live in prison. When they are released back into the general prison population, they return to their accustomed surroundings and daily routine—they regain the degree of control they had over their lives prior to the interrogation. Sentenced prisoners, in contrast to the Miranda paradigm, are not isolated with their accusers. They live among other inmates, guards, and workers, and often can receive visitors and communicate with people on the outside by mail or telephone.
Their detention, moreover, is relatively disconnected from their prior unwillingness to cooperate in an investigation. The former interrogator has no power to increase the duration of incarceration, which was determined at sentencing.4 [Footnote 4: We distinguish the duration of incarceration from the duration of what might be termed interrogative custody. When a prisoner isremoved from the general prison population and taken to a separatelocation for questioning, the duration of that separation is assuredly dependent upon his interrogators. For which reason once he has asserted a refusal to speak without assistance of counsel Edwards prevents any efforts to get him to change his mind during that interrogative custody.]
ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, ALITO, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined, and THOMAS, J., joined as to Part III.
THOMAS, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment:
I join Part III of the Court’s opinion, which holds that release into the general prison population constitutes a break in custody. I do not join the Court’s decision toextend the presumption of involuntariness established in Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U. S. 477 (1981), for 14 days after custody ends.
STEVENS, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment:
While I agree that the presumption from Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U. S. 477 (1981), is not “eternal,” ante, at 9– 10, and does not mandate suppression of Shatzer’s statement made after a 2½-year break in custody, I do not agree with the Court’s newly announced rule: that Edwards always ceases to apply when there is a 14-day break in custody, ante, at 11.