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In NC case, US Supreme Court says age must be considered in interrogation

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WASHINGTON, DC (AP) -- The Supreme Court says courts must consider age when examining whether a child is in custody and must be given Miranda rights.

The high court on Thursday ruled that police and school officials were wrong when they interviewed a 13-year-old special education student about a string of break-ins in Chapel Hill.

The interview took place in a closed room at his school. The boy was never read his Miranda rights, and his lawyer challenged the use of his confession.

The North Carolina Supreme Court refused to throw out the confession and said courts cannot look at age when examining whether the boy thought he could leave.

But the US Supreme Court said in a 5-4 vote that courts have to consider how old the child was during the interrogation.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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