Oregon v. BoydAnnotate this Case
Defendant Robert Boyd's girlfriend was found dead on the street, the victim of a severe beating. Witnesses saw her on the ground and saw defendant running away from the scene. A few minutes later, police arrested defendant, who had the victim's blood on his hands, shoes, and pants. The issue in this case was whether police unlawfully interrogated defendant after he invoked his rights to counsel and against compelled self-incrimination. The State argued that defendant had asked a “confusing” question and that police responded by seeking “clarification,” which did not amount to unconstitutional interrogation. Defendant argued that he had merely asked why he had been taken into custody and whether he could make a phone call, that there was nothing particularly confusing about the requests, and that police responded with questions that were reasonably likely to (and in fact did) elicit incriminating evidence. The trial court agreed with the State and denied defendant’s motion to suppress. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court, however, disagreed, and concluded that the police unconstitutionally interrogated him.