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Court to decide Miranda warning expansion

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will decide whether a suspect has to be told that he has a right to have a lawyer present during questioning by police.

The court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from Kevin Dwayne Powell, who was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

When he was arrested, police gave Powell his Miranda warnings, which officers give at the time of an arrest by informing suspects of their right not to answer questions and obtain a lawyer's help. The Miranda warning that Powell got included telling him he had a right to a lawyer before questioning. Powell's lawyers objected, saying police did not tell him he had a right to have a lawyer during his police interrogation.

The Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction, saying the police's Miranda warning was insufficient.

The state of Florida appealed to the Supreme Court, saying federal and state appeals court have split on whether a suspect has to be expressly warned that he has a right to a lawyer during interrogation, as well as before.

The case is 08-1175, Florida v. Powell.

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