548 F.3d 847 (9th Cir. 2008), 06-17161, Doody v. Schriro

Docket Nº:06-17161.
Citation:548 F.3d 847
Party Name:Johnathan Andrew DOODY, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Dora B. SCHRIRO; Megan Savage; Attorney General of the State of Arizona, Respondents-Appellees.
Case Date:November 20, 2008
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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548 F.3d 847 (9th Cir. 2008)

Johnathan Andrew DOODY, Petitioner-Appellant,


Dora B. SCHRIRO; Megan Savage; Attorney General of the State of Arizona, Respondents-Appellees.

No. 06-17161.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

November 20, 2008

Argued and Submitted Dec. 3, 2007.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Alan M. Dershowitz and Victoria B. Eiger, Dershowitz, Eiger & Adelson, P.C., Cambridge, MA, and New York, N.Y. for the petitioner-appellant.

Terry Goddard, Attorney General of Arizona, Randall M. Howe, Chief Counsel, and Joseph T. Maziarz, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Section, Phoenix, AZ for the respondents-appellees.

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


BERZON, Circuit Judge:

Seventeen-year-old Johnathan Doody was interrogated overnight for twelve hours straight. When, after several hours, he fell silent and refused to answer the officers' questions, the officers persisted, asking dozens of questions, many over and over again, and telling him he had to answer them. The resulting confession was used in Arizona state court to convict him of multiple counts of murder and robbery. He now petitions for a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that (1) the warnings he received pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), were insufficient; (2) the officers' words and conduct during the interrogation effectively “ de- Mirandized " him; and (3) his confession was involuntary. We affirm the district court's denial of the writ on Doody's Miranda claims, but reverse on his voluntariness claim.




On August 10, 1991, nine bodies were discovered in a Thai Buddhist temple outside Phoenix, Arizona. The victims were monks and other temple residents; each had been arranged lying face-down in a circle and shot in the head. Their living quarters had been ransacked and robbed.

The temple murders sparked a massive investigation. A task force of local, state, and federal law enforcement began to pursue leads. Ballistics reports showed that one of the weapons involved was a .22 Marlin rifle, so task force members were on the lookout for such rifles.

In late August, a security guard on the local Air Force base located a .22 Marlin

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rifle during a consent search of a car belonging to Rolando Caratachea, a local high school student. Shortly afterward, task force detective Richard Sinsabaugh followed up by asking Caratachea if he could borrow the rifle. Although Detective Sinsabaugh wanted the rifle for ballistics testing to determine if it was the murder weapon, he told Caratachea that it was suspected of being stolen. Caratachea assured Detective Sinsabaugh the rifle was not stolen, but agreed to let him take it. When he went to Caratachea's apartment to retrieve the rifle, Detective Sinsabaugh learned that Caratachea shared the apartment with two roommates, one of whom was seventeen-year-old Johnathan Doody.

Doody was born in Thailand and moved to the United States as a child with his American stepfather, who was in the Air Force, and his Thai mother.1 He speaks English with apparent fluency but a light accent.2 At the time of the investigation, Doody was beginning his junior year in high school, worked at the local Air Force base's commissary, and was a member of the junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (“ ROTC" ).

While Caratachea's rifle was being tested, the task force pursued other avenues of investigation, including interviewing members of the local Thai community who might have useful information about the temple or its residents. In mid-September, Detective Sinsabaugh interviewed Doody as part of this effort. Doody's brother had lived at the temple for a while before the murders, and Doody had frequently visited him during that period. During this interview, which lasted about an hour, Doody talked about his brother's experience and Doody's visits to the temple.

On the same day as this interview, the task force received a tip targeting four men from Tucson, who later became known as the “ Tucson Four," as the perpetrators of the murders. After these men were interrogated by task force members, some of whom also conducted Doody's later interrogation, all four confessed to the crimes. By early October, the Tucson Four had been charged with the murders, and the task force members believed they had solved the crime. The murder weapon, however, still had not been identified.

Then, on October 24, a laboratory report concluded that Caratachea's rifle was the murder weapon. The task force immediately decided to interview Caratachea and all of his known friends. Because Doody and Caratachea had been roommates, Doody was on the interview list. The following day, when task force members interviewed Caratachea, he told them that, just before the temple murders, he loaned his rifle to Doody and Alessandro Garcia, a sixteen-year-old friend of Doody and Caratachea.


On the evening of Friday, October 25, 1991, while Caratachea's interview was still

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in progress but after Caratachea told officers he had loaned the rifle to Doody, two task force members approached Doody at a high school football game and asked him to come to the police station to answer questions. He agreed and was driven to the station by one of the officers.

At 9:25 p.m., two police officers began an interview that did not end until 10:00 a.m. the following morning. The entire interview was audio-taped. Doody was not informed of the taping and was not aware of it.3 The interview took place in a carpeted, ten-foot by eighteen-foot room furnished only with three chairs. Doody was offered food, drink, and bathroom breaks several times during the night, although he never accepted food. Other than two brief bathroom breaks in the morning hours, the interview went on continuously during the twelve hours.

The interrogation was initially conducted by Detectives Riley and Munley. Detective Riley began with a casual introduction:

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

He asked Doody if he had heard of Miranda warnings; Doody responded that he had not. Detective Riley repeatedly assured Doody that the warnings were “ not meant to scare you" and told him, “ I don't want you to feel that because I'm reading this to you that we necessarily feel that you're responsible for anything. It's for your benefit, it's for your protection and for ours as well."

Although Detective Riley used a “ juvenile Miranda warnings" form, 4 he orally expanded upon the written form. In particular, when reviewing the right to an attorney, Detective Riley explained that a lawyer will “ help you concerning the crime or any kind of offense that we might think that you or somebody else is involved in, if you were involved in it, okay. Again, it [does] not necessarily mean that you are involved, but if you were, then that's what that would apply to, okay."

At the conclusion of each warning, Doody indicated that he understood and initialed the juvenile Miranda form. Doody agreed to speak to the officers without a parent or attorney present, and the interrogation commenced.

Detectives Riley and Munley began by asking Doody casual questions about his roommates and friends, including which of his friends and acquaintances owned guns. Doody immediately volunteered that Caratachea owned a gun, but denied ever having borrowed or shot it. The officers then asked Doody about the temple murders, inquiring where he was at the time of the

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murders and when he learned of them. Doody readily answered the questions, stating that on the night of the murders he saw a movie with a friend and then went home. The officers then asked more questions about the temple, the victims, and Doody's visits to the temple before the murders.

After about an hour, Detective Riley stopped the questioning to deliver a brief lecture about how important it was for Doody to tell them the truth, and then, pointedly, asked Doody again if he or anyone he knew had ever borrowed Caratachea's rifle. Doody answered that he had not, but that Garcia might have. Detective Riley responded that “ there are some things about the gun that I, I know that you have knowledge about," and urged Doody to “ be up front with me, be honest with me." 5

Detective Riley again asked Doody about his whereabouts on the night of the murders and whether he knew anything about the murders other than what was in the news. Doody denied any knowledge. Detective Riley again warned Doody that “ I want to stress with you the importance of being, being up front and honest," and told him that “ [w]hat you're saying [about not borrowing Caratachea's rifle] is not, is not true." In response, Doody again denied ever borrowing Caratachea's rifle but repeated that Garcia might have borrowed it.

Detectives Riley and Munley both proceeded to lecture Doody on how important it was for him to tell them the truth, and, now becoming more specific, informed him they “ kn[e]w that you were along with...

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