A split federal appeals panel has ruled that the U.S. Constitution was violated where an investigator questioned a suspected thief without a Miranda warning, obtained a confession, and then gave him a Miranda warning and obtained a second confession.

Addressing a so-called “two-stage” interrogation technique ruled improper by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said statements given by a postal worker accused of opening mail and stealing money orders were properly suppressed because a postal investigator renewed questioning armed with the tainted confession he obtained pre-Miranda.

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