August 20, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Miranda Waiver Voluntary Unless Gained by Intimidation, Threats, or Promises; Knowing and Intelligent if Defendant Understood but Made No Verbal Indications

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Gonzalez-Zamora on May 16, 2011.

Miranda Waiver—Knowing and Intelligent—Government Coercion—Voluntary Statements.

The district court suppressed statements made by defendant on the ground that his Miranda waiver and subsequent statements were involuntary. The Supreme Court reversed the suppression order.

The Court held that defendant’s Miranda waiver was voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. First, the record is void of any evidence of government “intimidation, misconduct, or trickery” that would lead the Court to question the voluntariness of his waiver. Second, the audio recording of the advisement and testimony concerning defendant’s nonverbal cues indicate that defendant was aware of and comprehended the rights that he was waiving. Finally, the trial court did not make any finding that defendant was coerced into making the statements, nor is there evidence of coercion in the record.

Summary and full case available here.

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