We find ourselves in agreement with the view of the Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. That is, we would agree that although the giving of Miranda warnings should not automatically render a suspect “in custody,” neither should the giving of such warnings be irrelevant in that analysis. In fact, it is unclear to us what purpose the reading of Miranda rights to a suspect should serve, if police did not intend to honor an invocation of those rights. One such possible purpose would be to encourage a suspect to incriminate him- or herself by providing a false sense of security that such rights existed, only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them when an attempt to invoke those rights is ignored. [Footnote omitted.] This would turn Miranda on its head and potentially eviscerate its core purpose of ameliorating the coercive nature of a police dominated atmosphere. See Collins, 873 N.E.2d at 155. Moreover, it is unclear what a suspect could be told, after he or she had already been read the Miranda warnings in the context of an adversarial interrogation in a police-dominated atmosphere but police ignored an earlier invocation of those rights. We strongly suspect that a re-reading of those warnings in such a situation, once a suspect was “truly” in custody, would be largely ineffective to protect the suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights.
. . . .
After considering all the facts and circumstances of this case, we conclude Bean was in custody when he finally confessed to having molested H.B., even if he was not formally arrested at that time and even if he had technically been told he was free to leave the station at any time and to not talk to police.
First, neither Bean nor an acquaintance of his drove him to the station—a police officer did. By itself, this does not establish that Bean was in custody, but it would have complicated his efforts to leave the station if he did not want to continue talking to police. This is unlike the situation in Luna, where the suspect appears to have agreed to transport himself to the police station at a pre-agreed time and was able to transport himself away from the station thereafter.
Second, the officers who spoke to Bean at his residence did not tell him the real reason they wanted to speak with him. Instead, they led him to believe he was under investigation for child pornography. Although that is a serious crime, it was only after Bean had been at the station for about an hour and a half that he was told of the real reason for the interrogation—an accusation by his daughter and niece that he had molested them. Such accusations were dramatically more serious than what he was led to believe would be discussed at the station and substantially changed the tenor of the interrogation. Such a “bait and switch” would most probably lead a reasonable person to feel much less likely to be permitted to simply walk out of the police station.
Third, the questioning in this case was clearly aggressive and fairly lengthy. Bean repeatedly denied molesting either H.B. or M.S., but the officers continued insisting that children would not make up molestation allegations. By the time Bean finally confessed, he had been at the station for nearly two-and-a-half hours and been subjected to questioning regarding criminal activity for approximately two hours. We also note that at one point, Bean asked if he could leave and one of the detectives responded, “Well, if you want to leave—that’s—you can leave at any time. Is that—you understood—but we’d like to come back and talk to you for a second. Okay? All right.” App. p. 243. This might not have compelled Bean to stay, but on the other hand it strongly encouraged him to do so.
Fourth, we note that unlike cases such as Luna and Faris, Bean in fact was not allowed to return home after he finally confessed. At one point before he confessed Bean tried to ask if he would be allowed to go home if he told the officers what they apparently wanted to hear, and they failed to provide a direct answer to that question. A reasonable person in Bean’s situation at that point might have felt he or she was in a “Catch-22”: to either continue denying wrongdoing indefinitely, with police refusing to accept those denials, or to confess and face immediate arrest. Thus, there was no “proof in the pudding” here—instead, he was arrested after having given his statement.
We need not decide whether these factors alone would have been enough to render Bean in custody at the time of his confession. The crucial factor here that leads us to believe that Bean was in custody when he finally confessed is that he had been advised of the Miranda rights to remain silent and to an attorney, that he had invoked those rights, and that police continued questioning him anyway. Indeed, this case differs from Luna, Morris, and many others in that the question in those cases was whether the suspect should have been advised of their Miranda rights; Bean, by contrast, was advised of those rights and tried to invoke them, albeit unsuccessfully.
After considering the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to police informing Bean of the Miranda rights, we conclude that Bean was in custody when he finally gave his confession because a reasonable person would not have felt free to leave the police station at that point.
FRIEDLANDER, J., and MAY, J., concur.