State v. Schrepfer

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-25-2017
  • Case #: A158830
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan J. pro tempore for James, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Article I, section 12 of the Oregon Constitution provides two avenues for law enforcement's response to a suspect's invocation of their right against compelled self-incrimination: if the invocation is unequivocal, the questioning must stop immediately, State v. Boyd, 360 Or 302, 318 (2016); if equivocal, the officer must stop the interrogation to clarify whether the suspect intended to invoke this right. State v. Charboneau, 323 Or 38, 54 (1996).

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for one count of second-degree robbery, ORS 164.405. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence obtained after Defendant invoked his Article 1, Section 12 right against compelled self-incrimination. On appeal, Defendant argued that when he stated “I’m done talking,” the officer was required to stop interrogating him. In response, State argued that while Defendant equivocally invoked his right to stop the interrogation, he provided an opening for further police questioning when he resumed talking to the officer after arriving to the jail.  Article I, section 12 of the Oregon Constitution provides two avenues for law enforcement's response to a suspect's invocation of their right against compelled self-incrimination: if the invocation is unequivocal, the questioning must stop immediately, State v. Boyd, 360 Or 302, 318 (2016); if equivocal, the officer must stop the interrogation to clarify whether the suspect intended to invoke this right. State v. Charboneau, 323 Or 38, 54 (1996). The Court of Appeals determined that “I’m done talking” was an unequivocal invocation of Defendant's right against compelled self-incrimination. The Court also found that the duration between this and Defendant’s re-initiation of conversation didn’t constitute a "clear break," and that his remarks were likely elicited by the interrogation questions. Accordingly, the Court held that Article I, section 12 required the suppression of the statements because Defendant unequivocally invoked this right, and the remarks made at the jail didn’t constitute a voluntary waiver of it. Reversed and Remanded.

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