Court Cases By Federal

United States v. Aripa
132 F. 3d 40, 1997 WL 787487 (9th Cir.)

Aripa waived her   Miranda  rights and confessed to distributing cocaine. She sought to overturn her resulting conviction on the ground that her waiver of those rights was not knowing and intelligent.

Aripa offered testimony that she had an IQ of 76, and that neuropsychological testing revealed a "generalized impairment consistent with either fetal alcohol syndrome or an extended high fever." (1997 WL 787487 at *4.) The psychologist did not state any conclusion regarding Aripa's ability to waive her rights. Aripa had been a special education student who dropped out of school in the eighth grade.

The detective who questioned her testified that Aripa said she understood her rights, said she would waive her rights, and signed a form waiving her rights. The detective also stated that Aripa "seemed fine", spoke "freely and clearly" and was "responsive." (1997 WL 787487 at *4.)

The courts held that Aripa's waiver of her rights was valid. The copy of the opinion we have is incomplete, so the reasoning is unclear.