Facts of the Case
Respondent Michael C., at the time 16 1/2 years old, was taken into custody by Van Nuys, CA, police on suspicion of murder. Before being questioned at the station house, he was fully advised of his rights under. At the outset of the questioning, Michael, who was on probation to the Juvenile Court, had served a term in a youth corrections camp, and had a record of prior offenses, asked to see his probation officer. But when the police denied this request, Michael stated he would talk without consulting an attorney, and he then proceeded to make statements and draw sketches implicating him in the murder. Upon being charged in Juvenile Court with the murder, he moved to suppress the incriminating statements and sketches on the ground that they had been obtained in violation ofin that his request to see his probation officer constituted an invocation of hisright to remain silent, just as if he had requested the assistance of an attorney. The court denied the motion, holding that the facts showed that respondent had waived his right to remain silent, notwithstanding his request to see his probation officer. The California Supreme Court reversed, holding that Michael’s request for his probation officer was ainvocation of his
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“No. In a 5-4 decision, Justice Harry A. Blackmun wrote the majority opinion reversing the state court. The Supreme Court held that a juvenile’s request for a probation officer does not invoke the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. A court must look at the totality of the circumstances in each case to determine whether a juvenile waived that right. In this case, Michael knowingly waived his right to remain silent, so all evidence obtained during the police questioning is admissible in court.Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote a dissent, stating that Miranda requires police questioning to stop whenever a juvenile requests an adult who represents his interests. The