Kansas v. Ventris and the Sixth Amendment

The Supreme Court’s latest criminal law decision is Kansas v. Ventris, available here.  The basic holding is that a statement obtained in violation of a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel may be admitted for impeachment purposes, so long as the statement was voluntary. In brief, the defendant in Ventris was charged with murder and … Read more

Confessions and Custody

The Court of Appeals decided two Miranda cases last week: In re J.D.B, available here, and State v. Rooks, available here. The former is a very close juvenile case that produced three separate opinions. I’ll save my thoughts about it for after we hear from the Supreme Court of North Carolina. But there’s an argument … Read more

Encrypted Computer Files and the Fifth Amendment

Can the state compel a suspect to provide access to encrypted files on the suspect’s computer?  For example, if the police suspect that I’m running a Ponzi scheme, but I’ve got all my business records encrypted, can the state require me to produce an unencrypted version of the records?  It’s an important question because more … Read more