Don’t Dance the Missouri Two-Step

Some Missouri police officers conduct an interrogation without Miranda warnings.  They secure a confession and then give the Miranda warnings thereafter and obtain a second confession.  The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down this practice calling it the “Missouri Two-Step.”

The second confession, obtained after warnings are given, is inadmissible.[1]

It is remotely possible, if the court finds that the officer did not obviously attempt to bypass the Miranda requirements and there is proof that the second confession is “attenuated” or somewhat remotely disconnected to the first confession, that the second confession still may be admissible.[2]

The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the subject holding that the Missouri two-step will only render a statement inadmissible if the officer uses the technique in a “calculated way to undermine the Miranda warning.”[3]

Officers must be very careful to obey the restrictions in Miranda v. Arizona.[4]  The best course is don’t dance the Missouri Two-Step!

[1] Missouri v. Seibert, 542 US 600 (2004).

[2] State v. Williams, 163 SW3d 522 (MO App 2005).

[3] State v. Gaw, 285 SW3d (Mo banc 2009).

[4] ­Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1964).

By | 2017-11-08T16:34:25+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Legal News|Comments Off on Don’t Dance the Missouri Two-Step

About the Author:

Dee Wampler
Dee Wampler has practiced law for 50 years has received many awards and honors. As Greene County’s youngest elected Prosecuting Attorney at the age of 29, Wampler’s reputation was quickly established as a leading trial attorney. Dee was an original organizer and first president Crimestoppers. Wampler has published over 250 articles for Law Enforcement Journals, and authored six books: Missouri Criminal Law Handbook; The Trial of Christ; The Myth of Separation Between Church and State; Standing on the Front Line; Defending Yourself Against Cops in Missouri, and other Strange Places; and One Nation Under God. His knowledge of criminal law and trial tactics is widely recognized.