"More than four decades after the Supreme Court ordered police to warn suspects about their rights before questioning them, the actual day-to-day practice has not turned out to be a simple ritual under clear ground rules. Encounters in interrogation rooms still and often are a test of wills, with detectives trying to get answers and suspects trying to avoid talking themselves into deeper trouble. As a result, the Court often has had to reinterpret its 1966 decision in Miranda v. Arizona. It did so again on Tuesday, and this time the result decisively tilted the warnings procedure toward the police.
By a 5-4 vote, the Court for the first time made two things clear about Miranda rights: first, if a suspect does not want to talk to police — that is, to invoke a right to silence — he must say so, with a clear statement because it is not enough to sit silently or to remain uncooperative, even through a long session; and, second, if the suspect finally answers a suggestive question with a one-word response that amounts to a confession, that, by itself, will be understood as a waiver of the right to silence and the statement can be used as evidence. Police need not obtain an explicit waiver of that right. The net practical effect is likely to be that police, in the face of a suspect’s continued silence after being given Miranda warnings, can continue to question him, even for a couple of hours, in hopes eventually of getting him to confess..." [RESTOFSTORY]