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U.S. Supreme Court protects police from ‘Miranda’ lawsuits

U.S. Supreme Court protects police from 'Miranda' lawsuits © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Police officers walk outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

By Andrew Chung

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday shielded police from the risk of paying money damages for failing to advise criminal suspects of their rights before obtaining statements later used against them in court, siding with a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff.

The justices ruled 6-3 in favor of deputy sheriff Carlos Vega, who had appealed a lower court decision reviving a lawsuit by a hospital employee named Terence Tekoh who accused the officer of violating his rights under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

Tekoh was charged with sexually assaulting a hospital patient after Vega obtained a written confession from him without first informing the suspect of his rights through so-called Miranda warnings. Tekoh was acquitted at trial.

The court’s six conservatives were in the majority in the ruling with its three liberal members dissenting.

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