Cases & Deals

Criminal defendant obtains suppression of three-hour interrogation on Miranda grounds in federal court

Clients Morris, Jack A.

On July 25, 2013, Jones Day obtained a significant victory on behalf of Jack A. Morris, Jr., a criminal defendant, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, securing the suppression of a three-hour police interrogation.

In late 2012, Mr. Morris was arrested in connection with a drug conspiracy investigation. Hours after his arrest, Mr. Morris signed a Miranda waiver and briefly spoke to the lead detective at the police station. Four days later, the same detective initiated and secretly recorded a second custodial interrogation of Mr. Morris at the county jail. At no time during the interrogation did the detective reference or administer Mr. Morris’ Miranda rights. Instead, the detective characterized the interview as an informal conversation. As a result, Mr. Morris engaged in a wide-ranging, three-hour long conversation.

Jones Day moved to suppress the interrogation, arguing that changes in circumstances rendered Mr. Morris unable to effectively evaluate his constitutional rights and the implications of waiving those rights in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. After conducting an extensive evidentiary hearing, the court adopted Jones Day’s position and suppressed the entire interrogation.

Following a five-day jury trial, the team obtained judge or jury acquittals on seven charges. This pro bono representation was pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act, a federal law that seeks to ensure legal representation for indigent criminal defendants.

U.S. v. Jack A. Morris, Jr., et al., Case No. 2:13-CR-086 (S.D. Ohio 2013)