Recapping our top story today, an emotional outburst in court for the women accused of kidnapping a five year old girl last year. Christina Regusters yelled in court after a relative accused her of abusing her daughter. We’ve learned the statement she made on the night of her arrest will not be admissible in court because an officer failed to read her her Miranda rights. NBC10 legal analyst Enrique Latoison joins us now live from the Digital Operations Center.
Enrique, let’s start with the Miranda rights. We know everyone’s supposed to be read their rights. How important is this lapse in this case?
Well, it’s very important. We all know the most common phrase of “you have a right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.” People often think that you have to have those rights read to you to be arrested, but that’s not how it works. If and after you’re arrested or you’re put into custody, those rights have to be read to you before questioning can then proceed. Now, you have a right to waive that right, that privilege to remain silent, but it has to be knowing, it has to be voluntary, it has to be proven that you understood that you had a right to remain silent and you gave up that right to remain silent. In this particular case, the defense was able to score a win here by being able to say that she wasn’t aware of her right to give up the right to remain silent and that her statement should be suppressed and a judge agreed with that. They-
Enrique, real quickly, Miranda warnings aside, how can Regusters’ outburst impact the jury’s perception of her?
Well, I mean, if you’re accused of this heinous crime as she is and then she’s crying and then she screams out that “I didn’t do these things” and then if she doesn’t ever actually testify, well they kind of have her on record defending herself and saying that she didn’t do this. I think that, you know, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be done and you’re not supposed to have an outburst in court, but I actually think it kind of helped her in a sense, especially if she doesn’t take the stand, the jury will still have heard her deny this and to be emotional and to say “I didn’t do this” and to scream and have an outburst – the kind of things that innocent people tend to do.
All right. Enrique Latoison, thank you so much for your insights into this case today.
Thank you, Renee.