SANTIAGO v. SUPERINTENDENT OF SCI HUNGTINGDON et al
ORDER THAT THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION IS APPROVED AND ADOPTED. THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IS DENIED. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JEFFREY L. SCHMEHL ON 12/30/16. 1/3/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE' AND E-MAILED. (ky, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ARNALDO TORRES SANTIAGO,
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCI
HUNTINGDON, et al.,
AND NOW, this 30th day of December, 2016, upon careful and independent
consideration of the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, after review of the Report and
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn Heffley, and having
reviewed Petitioner’s Objections to the Report and Recommedation, it is hereby
ORDERED as follows:
1. The Report and Recommendation is APPROVED and ADOPTED. 1
Petitioner’s Objections to the Report and Recommendations reiterate arguments he has
made not only in his petition but in prior proceedings as well. The only issue worth any additional
note is Petitioner’s objection to the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that there was no judicial error
or ineffectiveness of counsel related to the admission of evidence obtained based on Petitioner’s
statements when those statements were themselves suppressed.
Petitioner was held at the police station, ostensibly as a witness but definitely not
permitted to leave, for many hours before blurting out an incriminating statement when he was
approached by a detective to clarify answers made earlier in the day. At that point he was given
Miranda warnings and proceeded to make a more detailed inculpatory statement, including
directing detectives to the person to whom he had given the murder weapon. Because of the
length of time Petitioner was held in the police station and the fact that the police collectively had
information that could or should have led them to view Petitioner as a suspect, the pre-trial judge
granted suppression and ruled the statements inadmissible. The judge, however, refused to
suppress the gun and the statement of the person with whom Petitioner had left it.
As correctly noted by the suppression judge, the Superior Court on appeal, and the
Magistrate Judge in her Report and Recommendation, under United States v. Patane, 542 U.S.
630, 636-44 (2004), the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause, and thus Miranda
warnings, relates only to a defendant’s statements, not to any evidentiary fruits of those
statements. Exclusion of the evidentiary fruits requires a separate analysis of whether the
statements were voluntary, not whether they were Mirandized. The Magistrate Judge concluded
that the circumstances of Petitioner’s stay and questioning in the police station did not render his
2. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED.
3. There is no basis for the issuance of a certificate of appealability.
BY THE COURT:
s/s JEFFREY L. SCHMEHL
Jeffrey L. Schmehl, J.
statements involuntary. There are reasons to at least question whether the statements were
voluntary. By the time he gave the statements leading to the evidence, Petitioner had been held
for more than six hours. Moreover, Petitioner was originally told he was finished and could leave
but, due apparently to delays in official escort out of the building, he was kept in the waiting area
for another two hours before being questioned again, whereupon he suddenly made an
incriminating statement. These circumstances could suggest that when the detective came back to
him after all that time, Petitioner had been overcome by the ordeal and the uncertainty. But as the
Magistrate Judge noted, the ordeal consisted simply of waiting; Petitioner was not handcuffed or
physically coerced or subjected to other forceful tactics. Further, which the Magistrate Judge did
not highlight, Petitioner did receive Miranda warnings immediately before making the statements
that led to the evidence in question. However, he did not receive those warnings before initially
incriminating himself, and the late reading of those warnings was not sufficient to make his
subsequent statements admissible. But the fact that detectives thoroughly explained Petitioner’s
rights to him, immediately before he went ahead and made the statements that led detectives to
the gun and the witness who had the gun, strongly supports the conclusion that his statements
were voluntary. In other words, though the scope of the statements overall was not considered
properly Mirandized, the statements that led to the evidence were in actuality properly
Mirandized, which along with the lack of truly coercive tactics provides sufficient indication that
the statements were voluntary and the evidence accordingly admissible.
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