State v. Ahmad

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s order, which found the defendant’s statement to police admissible. The 17-year-old defendant arrived at a hospital with gunshot wounds and told responding officers that he was the victim of a random shooting. After surgery, the police took him to the district, where he was ordered to go to the prosecutor’s office to give a statement, though he was allowed to drive there with his father. The defendant’s family waited as detectives interviewed him. The defendant was never advised of his Miranda rights because he claimed to be a victim. The defendant gave some incriminating statements that, coupled with more investigation, led authorities to charge him with murder during the commission of which the defendant was also shot. The Supreme Court held that it was inconsequential whether law enforcement viewed the juvenile as a victim or suspect; the critical inquiry was whether this was a custodial interrogation. The Court found the juvenile was subject to a custodial interrogation. Thus, the statement should have been suppressed.

Ahmad