Seventh Circuit: Conditioning Bond on Turning over Guns Requires Suppression

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that a police officer’s admonition to a defendant that bond was conditioned on his turning over any firearms he might possess amounted to an unwarned custodial interrogation. The repeated entreaties to comply with the order constituted interrogation because a reasonably objective observer would believe that those statements were at least reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response, the Court decided. The defendant’s admission was found to be involuntary where no Miranda rights were given, he did not realize what he was arrested for, and he had been recently treated for mental illness and had stopped taking his medication. The Court also concluded that the defendant’s post-warnings statements were tainted by the illegality of his original statement. United States v Swanson, ___F3d___ (CA 7, #10-2178, 3-24-11); full text at