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Doody v. Schriro

February 25, 2010


Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona D.C. No. CV-98-00528-EHC Earl H. Carroll, District Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rawlinson, Circuit Judge


Argued and Submitted June 23, 2009 -- Seattle, Washington

Before: Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Mary M. Schroeder, Betty B. Fletcher, Harry Pregerson, Stephen Reinhardt, Pamela Ann Rymer, Andrew J. Kleinfeld, Sidney R. Thomas, Kim McLane Wardlaw, Richard C. Tallman, and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Circuit Judges.

Opinion by Judge Rawlinson; Concurrence by Chief Judge Kozinski; Dissent by Judge Tallman


This case emerged from a horrendous crime - the murder of nine individuals, including six monks, inside a Buddhist temple. The ensuing investigation ensnared Petitioner Johna-than Doody, a seventeen-year old high school student. Although Doody eventually confessed to participating in the nine murders, he now challenges his confession, asserting that the Miranda*fn1 advisements he was given were inadequate and that his confession was involuntary. We agree on both counts. Specifically, we conclude that the advisement provided to Doody, which consumed twelve pages of transcript and completely obfuscated the core precepts of Miranda, was inadequate. We also hold that nearly thirteen hours of relentless overnight questioning of a sleep-deprived teenager by a tag team of officers overbore the will of that teen, rendering his confession involuntary.


"On the morning of August 10, 1991, members of the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist Temple discovered nine bodies inside the temple (the temple murders). The victims, including six Buddhist monks, lay face down in a circle, each shot in the head." State v. Doody, 930 P.2d 440, 443 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1996). Temple living quarters were ransacked, and personal property was missing. See id.

Approximately one month after the temple murders, Phoenix detectives received an anonymous tip implicating four men from Tucson (the Tucson Four). During interrogations, the four suspects made inculpatory statements, resulting in murder charges against them.*fn2 See id.

The police identified the murder weapon as a Marlin Model 60 .22 caliber rifle (Marlin rifle). See id. Investigators received a report from Luke Air Force Base that a military policeman had discovered a Marlin rifle while searching a vehicle in an unrelated incident. See id. The rifle was recovered from its owner, Rolando Caratachea (Caratachea), and identified as the temple murder weapon. See id. When confronted, Caratachea denied involvement in the temple murders. He steered the investigators to Doody and another minor, Alessandro Garcia (Garcia), whom he reported had borrowed the rifle shortly before the murders. See id.

Police officers approached Doody on October 25, 1991, at a high school football game, where Doody was participating in a flag ceremony as a member of the high school Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). Doody voluntarily accompanied the police officers to the station for questioning.

Doody's interrogation began at 9:25 p.m. and concluded at 10:00 a.m. the next day. See id. at 444. Prior to commencing the interrogation, Detective Riley purported to advise Doody of his constitutional rights as required by Miranda. His recitation of Miranda's basic warnings consumes twelve pages of transcript, largely a byproduct of the detective's continuous usage of qualifying language. The Miranda form designed to be used when questioning juvenile suspects contained the following uncomplicated advisements:

1. You have the right to remain silent. (This means that you do not have to talk to me or answer any questions about this offense. You can be quiet if you wish.) . . .

2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. (This means that anything you tell me, I can use later against you in court . . .) . . .

3. You have the right to have an attorney present prior to and during questioning. (This means, if you want one, you are allowed to have a lawyer here before and during my questions to you . . .) . . .

4. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have one appointed for you prior to questioning. (This means if you do not have the money to get a lawyer, if you wish, one will be given to you free of charge before you are questioned.) . . .

Juvenile Miranda Warnings Form (October 25, 1991). What began as the reading of a single-page Miranda form morphed into a twelve-page exposition that negated the intended effect of the Miranda warning.

Detective Riley began by informing Doody that the warnings were merely a formality that Doody should not take out of context:

Ah, what I'd like to do first though Jonathan since we're in kind of a formal setting and things like that and because DAVE [Munley's] a police officer and I'm a police officer and things like that ah sometimes some of the questions that we get into are, are a little bit sensitive and ah things like that. Ah, and what I'd like to do is before we, we go into that is ah, read something to you ah, and so that you understand some of the protections and things that ah, that you have. It's not meant to scare you or anything like that, ah, don't, ah, don't take it out of context, okay.

Ah, I'm sure you've heard this thing and you've heard it said on t.v. and things like that and it's not quite like t.v. portrays it ah, it's a little more, little less technical and a little less heavy if you want to put it ah that way . . . What, what, it's called is a Miranda warning okay. Have you heard that before?

Doody: No.

They call it Rights on t.v., okay. What, what that is and basically all that is Jonathan is, it's not necessarily something that is, like on t.v. where they portray it when somebody's ah guilty of doing something, ah, we read these things to people on somewhat of a regular basis, whether they're responsible for doing something or not, okay. So I don't want you to feel that because I'm reading this to you that we necessarily [sic] that you're responsible for anything, it's for your benefit, it's for your protection and for our's [sic] as well, okay?

Doody Interrogation Transcript, Tape 1, pp. 2-4 (emphases added).

Detective Riley then informed Doody that he was reading the Miranda warnings verbatim from a form. See id. at p. 8. However, the detective deviated significantly from the form, while informing Doody of his right to counsel. He stated:

Okay, and the next one states that you have the right to have an attorney present prior to and during questioning, and what that means [sic] that if you want one, you're allowed to have a lawyer here before and during you know my questions to you, okay. And then an attorney is a lawyer who will speak for you and help you concerning the crime or any kind of offense that ah we might think that you or somebody else is involved in, if you were involved in it, okay. Again, it [sic] not necessarily mean that you are involved, but if you were, then that's what that would apply to okay.

Id. at p. 10.

The interrogation commenced with casual questions from both Detective Riley and Detective Munley about Doody's roommates and friends, including whether any of them owned guns. Doody volunteered that his friend Caratachea owned a gun, but denied that he ever borrowed or shot the gun. The two detectives then switched the focus of the questions to the temple murders, asking Doody to detail his whereabouts at the time of the murders and to describe how he became aware of the crime. Doody responded that on the night of the murders, he went to a movie with a friend and returned home. The two officers followed up by asking additional questions about the temple, Doody's prior visits to the temple and the victims.

Approximately one hour into the interrogation, Detective Riley paused to lecture Doody about the importance of telling the truth. He also asked a pointed question: whether Doody or anyone Doody knew had ever borrowed Caratachea's rifle. Doody denied that he had, but stated that Garcia might have done so. At that point, Detective Riley apprised Doody that there were some things about the gun that he knew Doody was aware of, and he urged Doody to come clean.

Detective Riley again asked Doody about his whereabouts when the murders occurred and whether he knew anything about the murders other than what was reported in the news. When Doody once more denied any knowledge of the murders, Detective Riley repeated his warning about the importance of Doody telling all, and he informed Doody that the detectives knew Doody was lying when he denied borrowing Caratachea's rifle. In response, Doody reiterated that he never borrowed the rifle, but Garcia might have.

Following Doody's repeated negative response to the question of borrowing Caratachea's rifle, both detectives proceeded to lecture Doody on the importance of his telling the truth. In the midst of the lecture, the two detectives confronted Doody with their "knowledge" that Doody and at least one other person borrowed the rifle. They demanded information confirming their knowledge, telling Doody that "its [sic] so important for you, for you to tell us. I mean you have to tell us. You have to." Doody Interrogation Transcript, Tape 3, p. 27 (emphasis added).

Almost immediately after the two detectives told Doody he had to tell them about borrowing the rifle, Doody obliged. He told the two detectives that he and Garcia borrowed the rifle well before the temple murders. This admission prompted several more sternly couched lectures on the importance of telling the truth, and the detectives' knowledge that Doody was lying. The detectives also increased the pressure on Doody by informing him that Caratachea's rifle was the murder weapon. Nevertheless, Doody maintained that he returned the rifle to Caratachea prior to the murders. He continued to deny knowledge of, or involvement in, the murders in the face of repeated questions and accusations that he was withholding information from the detectives.

In the middle of the night, Doody became virtually non-responsive to the detectives' questioning, even though a third detective, Detective Sinsabaugh, who had interviewed Doody in September, joined the tag team. From that point, the pressure intensified. Detective Riley began with:

Why if you didn't kill anybody, then what is what is keeping you from making people understandable [sic] believe that. 'Cause if you didn't kill anybody, doing what you're doing right now isn't going to convince anybody . . . They're gonna say and this is only speaking it out common sense fashion how people normally perceive things, is it if you didn't kill anybody why is he lying, why won't he tell what happened, there is [sic] got to be a reason for that; and the reason that most people would come to is that you probably kill [sic] them and it is won't admit it. So we can get pass [sic] that point and deal with the fact that he didn't kill anybody, but this is why your problem in coming across with what he knew and reasons were this and this and hey! I think there [sic] a probably pretty good reasons [sic] otherwise you wouldn't have such a problem Jonathan, but help us understand that, and by understanding it you're going to help yourself out tremendously 'cause we have to know. Com'mon!

Doody Interrogation Transcript, Tape # 8, pp. 1-2. Doody responded, "I don't know anything else." Id. at p. 2.

Detective Sinsabaugh chimed in: "You know me don't you Jonathan? How'ya doing my friend?" Id. at p. 6. The detective instructed an unresponsive Doody:

Remember we talked about honor. I need your help on this one. I know what's up. I need you to help on this one, okay? You got a duty to help us Jonathan; I know exactly what went down, my man, and you got a duty to help us and we can work this thing out together and I'm coming to you straight up Jonathan. I'm serious. These guys [the other two detectives] are trying to give you an opportunity Jonathan for you to help us to be on our team and that's why they're spending this time with you. Just like that night I talked to you, it's no game now Jonathan. I know you though Jonathan, I know . . . your family. I know where you have been raised, and I don't think Jonathan Doody is a cold blooded killer. These guys were cowards Jonathan. You got mixed up with some dumb punks, and you gotta help us on this Jonathan. You gotta help us on this 'cause it's no game now. I mean that you gotta help us on this. This is not a game; I'm not playing with you Jonathan. I know your family and everything. Please help me on this Jonathan. We can we can talk and we'd see how we can ever work this thing out, but you gotta be straight up front with me. If if you lie to us Jonathan, then we're not gonna be able to believe the truth. If you lie to us, I'm not gonna be able to believe whether or not you are [sic] killer and I don't believe that Jonathan and that's why I took the time to come in and talk to you, 'cause I care about you man. Let it out, Jonathan. Now is the time let it out. Let it out, Jonathan. Tell's [sic] us what's up; take some pride in yourself we'll, we'll work it out Jonathan, but it's not gonna help leaving it in. I need to know your part; we already know what went down Jonathan. Help me on this one.

Id. at pp. 6-7 (emphases added).

Besides reiterating that he didn't do anything, Doody was non-responsive. The three detectives continued in tandem:

Detective Munley: Tell us what happened. We gotta hear it from you. Get it all cleared up Jonathan, you can do it. It has to come out Jonathan.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan now is the time.

Detective Munley: Go ahead Jonathan please. You're not afraid to take stands, just get it out, just get it out . . .

Detective Munley: Do it Jonathan; I can help you. Let it out Jonathan.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Trust me on this one. Jonathan. Whose plan was it Jonathan? Tell me Jonathan, whose plan was it? I'll work with you on it. Go ahead, Jonathan, go ahead. Help us on this.

Detective Riley: Jon you can do it. Whose idea was it?

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan let it out, let it out take a deep breath let it out now. Let it out and tell us what happened.

Now is the time, let it out. Get it out of you, it's a new beginning for you.

Jon, this is bull shit. Get it out Jonathan 'cause then I'm not gonna believe you when you do tell us we, we know what's up. Now let it out now, and we'll work together on it.

Detective Munley: Jonathan, who are we talking about here? You gotta take this position now. You better take a hold of this now.

Detective Riley: This is your time, Jon. This is your opportunity get [sic] it out.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan, I know you're involved. I don't wanna go out that door; I don't wanna believe other one's, other people's story. I want it from you first hand. Jonathan, it's time. I'm serious, it's time.

Take a stand. Be a man . . .

Detective Riley: You have to Jon . . .

Detective Sinsabaugh: Now come clean with me Jonathan; come clean.

Detective Munley: Rollie was involved, wasn't he?

Detective Riley: Com'mon Jonathan, it's not that difficult. Either he was or he wasn't. Was he? Was he or wasn't he involved? Jonathan was he?

Doody: I don't know.

Detective Riley: Yes, you do know. Was he?

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan, I'm going out this room. I'm gonna talk to other people. I thought for surely [sic] I could come to you; you're not thinking in your interest Jonathan. How we talked about the honor; I don't see any of that honor my man.

Detective Riley: Try, you can do it. Gotta get it, you gotta release it Jonathan. It's not gonna go away. Man you gotta get it out. Just go ahead and say it. It's all in [sic] the tip of your tongue. Just let it out Jon . . . [W]as Rollie involved? Jonathan it's not that hard. Either he was or wasn't. Com'mon, do it. Do it now. Either he was or he wasn't. Was he involved? Yes or no? Com'mon, com'mon! . . .

Detective Munley: Get it out . . .

Detective Sinsabaugh: I'm with you. I'm with you. You gotta help me on this one. We gotta make this right Jonathan. This's no game Jonathan; I'm being honest with you.

Detective Munley: He was involved, wasn't he Jon?

Detective Sinsabaugh: It's your side of the story.

Detective Munley: He was, wasn't he.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Com'mon Jonathan.

Detective Munley: Jonathan, look at me; he was, wasn't he? Go ahead Jonathan.

Detective Sinsabaugh: You were involved Jonathan. You were involved.

Detective Munley: We gotta know the extent of your involvement. We gotta have your version Jon.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Man, you gotta get it out.

Detective Munley: Tell it, Jon.

Detective Riley: Jonathan can you honestly sit there and tell myself and Dave and Rick right now that you were not at that temple.

Detective Sinsabaugh: No, 'cause Jonathan Doody doesn't lie.

Detective Munley: Jonathan, can you?

Detective Riley: Com'mon this is not that hard. You know what we've talked about throughout this whole conversation. If you're there, we can deal with that; but we gotta know, we gotta hear it from you. You have to tell us. Yes or no? Were you or weren't you? Yes or no? Jonathan, com'mon. Yes or no? Yes or no? Yes or no? Yes or no? It's real simple. Were you or weren't you. Just tell me, yes or no. Com'mon yes or no, it's real simple.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Join the team. Let's work this thing out together. I'm not gonna tell you, you can't Jonathan. Let's straighten this shit up.

Doody: (Murmur)

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan do it.

Detective Riley: We have to know; you have to let us know. If you don't, let us know know [sic] body else is gonna do that for you. Either you tell us you were or weren't, it's really simple. I know it's a struggle right now, but you have to let us know that. Whether or not you were there. Simply yes or no. What is it, which one is it? Com'mon, take control right now.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Answer Jonathan, answer.

Detective Munley: You can do it Jon.

Detective Munley: Jon, it's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world.

Jonathan you can do it.

Detective Riley: Please! Jonathan, com'mon. You can deal with this; you can take control of this situation. The way to start with that is to do this now by telling us whether or not you were there. Were you or not there? Jonathan Please tell us now. Let us help you . . .

Detective Munley: Get it out . . .

Detective Riley: Give us the opportunity.

Detective Munley: Get it out. Go ahead.

Detective Riley: Grab a hold of this opportunity. Let us help you. Like Rick's been telling you, trust us.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan look at me. This is flat out bull shit man. What what what what'd, you been brought up better than this. What the hell does this stand for, Okay? Are you gonna cover for bunch [sic] of cowards. I'm trying to convince these people Jonathan that you didn't kill anybody. You got something in here, and you you're sitting here playing a game and I'm not gonna put up with it. You're gonna sit there and cover for bunch [sic] of cowards. I think Jonathan, I'd come to you straight up and I'm gonna give [sic] chance to answer and I want you to come clear with this. Don't cover for these guys. They're cowards, Jonathan. Tell me.

Doody: I can't.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Why? I'll work with you, why? Why Jonathan? Why? Talk to, I'd talk to you the other night Jonathan; we can talk. Me and you can talk Jonathan . . . don't freeze up on me man. You freeze up on me like this, I can't talk to you. Talk to me. Why can't you and we'll work it out. Just sit down and discuss this. . . . Jonathan, take charge man. Your [sic] soldier man, you don't, you you don't you can say what's on your mind and tell me Jonathan. Tell me. Tell me so I can work this out with you. Go ahead my man, tell me. Tell me, trust me my man. Trust me. Trust me so we can work [sic] out; I need your help Jonathan. How did you get involved in it and talk. How did you get involved in it? We'll work it out Jonathan, we'll work it out. I'm worried about your family, too. We'll work it out. You need to help me Jonathan. Jonathan, Jonathan don't. You told me you can't, now why? Jon no, Jonathan tell me. Why? Let's work it out together. Jonathan look at me my man, trust me on this. Let's work this thing. Why? If you wanna say it Jonathan, why? Why? I I care about you Jonathan; you're [sic] family wanna know why . . .

Id. at pp. 10-19.

Between 3:15 a.m. and 3:56 a.m., after making a brief comment about there not being a threat to his family, Doody Interrogation, Tape 9, p. 1, Doody again became silent. The detectives continued without any response from Doody:

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan, who did they threaten [sic] let it out? I know what's up Jonathan. Tell me about it lets [sic] work this out. Jonathan I need your help to prove that your [sic] not a killer Jonathan. You went there it went to shit Jonathan it wasn't your idea. You just got messed [sic] with the wrong guys, Jonathan look at me. Don't sst [sic], what's the problem? Jonathan tell me. Let it out, who, you said not me who? Who Jonathan? Jonathan be a man about this. Tell me.

Detective Riley: Who's [sic] ideal [sic] was it Jonathan?

Detective Sinsabaugh: Tell him Jonathan. Tell him Jonathan, who's [sic] ideal [sic] it was. Let's get this out, there you go . . .

Detective Sinsabaugh: Ideal [sic] was it?

Detective Munley: Go ahead Jonathan. It's easy, who's [sic] ideal [sic]? Let it out Jonathan. Go ahead.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jon, Jon, Jon trust me on this, Jonathan. It's the only way we can work it out is if you're up front Jonathan. Now I talked to you tonight, the other time we talked you you you intelligent [sic] help us on this talk to us.

Detective Munley: Who's [sic] idea was it Jonathan?

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan I'm gonna have to leave the room are you gonna help me on this? Are you gonna trust me on this? You can't trust those guys. You can trust me now tell me Jonathan. Jonathan you're wasting time, now tell me. You want to tell us, so let's just tell it now.

Detective Munley: Tell Jonathan.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jonathan, Jonathan who's [sic] ideal [sic] was it? Jonathan you just said it, who's [sic] ideal [sic] was it?

Detective Munley: OK Jonathan.

Detective Sinsabaugh: You're gonna cover for a cold blooded killer?

Detective Munley: Jon go ahead and let it out. Go ahead Jon.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jon Jon Jon Jon are you gonna cover for a cold blooded killer, now let it out.

Detective Munley: Go ahead Jon. Get it out Jon. Were you there? Jon.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jon Jon tell tell me so I know what we're up against. Why are you scared to tell us? Huh, Jon Jon you got to answer me why are you scared to tell us, answer me. No Jon why are you scared to tell us? I'm not gonna let you do this to yourself, why are you scared to tell us? No, Jon you're gonna answer me, why are you scared to tell us? I'm concerned about ya and I'm I'm gonna stay here until I get an answer, why are you scared to tell, let me help you on this Jon. Jon, why are you scared to tell us? Huh? Jon, Jon answer me. Why are you scared to tell us, I'm not gonna let you do this. Now you you start talking to me. Tell us Jon. Jon Jonathan tell us.

Detective Munley: Let it go. You just said it.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Trust me on this [Jonathan]. This is the only way.

Detective Munley: Go ahead Jon. Get it out Jon, just get it over with it has to come out. It has to come out, go ahead. Go ahead Jon.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jon look what you're holding inside you want to tell us just tell us. Jon, Jon would you tell me? Look at me Jon, Jon don't look away, look at me Jon you're a soldier tell me what's up. Jon no no no tell me Jon talk to me Jon. Jon no no this guy it's not you're not gonna cut it that way man, you're gonna be a man about it. You're gonna talk to me Jon.

Detective Riley: Who are you afraid of Jon?

Detective Sinsabaugh: You you gonna get this out in the open now Jon that isn't going to buy it, you're you're you're an ROTC you're a soldier now start talking to me Jon don't sit there like that talk to me. Jon you remember what's my name? What's my name? What's my name Jon? What is my name? What is my name Jon?

Detective Riley: Don't you remember his name?

Detective Sinsabaugh: Do you remember me talking to you at school? I called you at school, your counselor and you called me? Do you remember yes or no?

Doody: Yes.

Detective Sinsabaugh: OK, why is that so hard? Yeah I talked to him a couple of months maybe. Jon Jon do you want to talk or not?

Doody: I'll pull up a chair.

Detective Munley: Just get it out.

Detective Sinsabaugh: Jon, excuse me. What's the deal are you gonna talk to me or not? Who am I Jon? What's my name? Well talk, what is my name Jon?

You can't remember it? You remember me talking to you?

Doody: Yes.

Detective Sinsabaugh: OK speak up OK we're men now. Could you remember ...

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