Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down rulings that favored little-guy criminal defendants. One case involved sentence extension for drug treatment, the other was about a 13 year-old who was interrogated but not Mirandized:
The case stems from a situation in September 2005 in which a 13-year-old boy was pulled out of his class at a Chapel Hill, N.C., middle school, escorted to another room and interrogated behind a closed door by a police detective and three other adults.
The boy confessed to a neighborhood larceny. He never was read his Miranda rights, which include the right to an attorney.
One of the adults was the assistant principal at the boy’s school. The child’s guardian was not present.
This case was decided by the usual 5-4 vote, with the inevitable Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas dissenting votes. Reading about a case like this, I wonder how anyone can justify voting for Republicans on libertarian principles. If we had one more hard-right Republican appointee on the court, it would be just fine for cops to essentially coerce (is there any other word for it?) confessions from kids without parents present.