A fourth case to be argued in the spring involves standards for questioning of juveniles.
The cases require the court to sort out practical questions about enforcement of “Miranda” rights. It’s been almost 40 years since the court’s landmark Miranda v. Arizona ruling required officers to warn people arrested and questioned that they have the right to remain silent and to see a lawyer.
Missouri officers did not immediately read Seibert her rights after arresting her at a St. Louis burn center and taking her to a police station interview room.
It was a gamble, one officer said, to see if she would divulge information about the 1997 fire that killed a teenager who had been staying at the Seibert family trailer in Rolla, Mo., a rural university town in the Ozarks. The officer said he learned the strategy in training sessions.
Police said she arranged to have her home burned to cover up the death of her 12-year-old son, who had cerebral palsy and could not walk, talk or feed himself. She apparently was afraid to report her son’s death and thought authorities would believe she had neglected the boy because he had bedsores, according to the state Supreme Court ruling.