from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas
ELROD, HIGGINSON, and ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judges.
STEPHEN A. HIGGINSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Arellano-Banuelos was convicted by a jury of illegal reentry.
On appeal, he argues that his confession was admitted in
violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436
(1966), he was denied the opportunity to present a statute of
limitations defense, the district court erred in striking a
prospective juror for cause, and the admission of a
certificate of non-existence of record violated his rights
under the Confrontation Clause.
earlier opinion, we remanded this case to the district court
for additional findings as to whether Arellano-Banuelos was
"in custody" for purposes of Miranda.
See United States v. Arellano-Banuelos, 912 F.3d 862
(5th Cir. 2019). Our prior opinion recounts the pertinent
factual background. See id. at 864-65. After
considering the district court's findings and the
parties' supplemental briefs, we now affirm.
Miranda, an individual subjected to "in-custody
interrogation" must first "be warned that he has a
right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may
be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to
the presence of an attorney, either retained or
appointed." 384 U.S. at 444-45. These safeguards are
required "[b]ecause custodial police interrogation, by
its very nature, isolates and pressures the individual,"
and "heightens the risk that an individual will not be
accorded his privilege under the Fifth Amendment not to be
compelled to incriminate himself." Dickerson v.
United States, 530 U.S. 428, 435 (2000) (cleaned up).
Miranda claim arises out of an August 2015 interview
with Norberto Cruz, a U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) agent. At the time of the interview,
Arellano-Banuelos was serving a sentence of 15 months'
imprisonment on unrelated state offenses. Cruz and two other
ICE agents traveled to the state prison to interview 23
inmates, including Arellano-Banuelos. The inmates were
escorted to the office in groups of five. A prison guard
stood at the door of the office, which remained open. Cruz
and another ICE agent conducted simultaneous interviews at
separate tables, and a third agent photographed and
fingerprinted the inmates after the conclusion of their
interviews. These interviews ordinarily lasted between ten
and thirty minutes, although the parties agree that
Arellano-Banuelos's interview took about ten to fifteen
interviewed Arellano-Banuelos about his immigration status
and past deportation without providing complete
Miranda warnings. Over the course of this interview,
Arellano-Banuelos acknowledged his alienage, his prior
removal, and his lack of permission from the Attorney General
to reenter the United States. Arellano-Banuelos was later
charged with illegal reentry, and he moved to suppress his
admissions to Cruz. The district court denied the motion
after finding that the August 2015 interview "was not a
custodial interrogation for Miranda purposes."
prior opinion, we held that this interview was an
"interrogation" under Miranda because Cruz
should have known that his questioning was "reasonably
likely to elicit an incriminating response from the
suspect." Arellano-Banuelos, 912 F.3d at 866
(quoting Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 301
(1980)). We remanded to the district court for additional
findings on the issue of Arellano-Banuelos's custodial
status. Id. at 869. After hearing further testimony
and argument, the district court concluded that
Arellano-Banuelos was not in custody under Miranda
during the August 2015 interview.
review the district court's "factual findings for
clear error and the ultimate constitutionality of law
enforcement action de novo." United States v.
Robinson, 741 F.3d 588, 594 (5th Cir. 2014). "The
clearly erroneous standard is particularly deferential where
denial of the suppression motion is based on live oral
testimony because the judge had the opportunity to observe
the demeanor of the witnesses." United States v.
Ortiz, 781 F.3d 221, 226 (5th Cir. 2015) (cleaned up).
Further, we consider "the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prevailing party, which in this case is the
government." United States v. Wright, 777 F.3d
769, 773 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting United States v.
Santiago, 410 F.3d 193, 197 (5th Cir. 2005)).
for purposes of Miranda "is a term of art that
specifies circumstances that are thought generally to present
a serious danger of coercion." Howes v. Fields,
565 U.S. 499, 508-09 (2012). This inquiry "is an
objective one-the subjective intent of the questioners and
the subjective fear of the questioned person are
irrelevant." United States v. Melancon, 662
F.3d 708, 711 (5th Cir. 2011). We first consider whether
"'there is a 'formal arrest or restraint on
freedom of movement' of the degree associated with a
formal arrest." Maryland v. Shatzer, 559 U.S.
98, 112 (2010) (quoting New York v. Quarles, 467
U.S. 649, 655 (1984)). The Supreme Court has observed that
"[t]his test, no doubt, is satisfied by all forms of
incarceration." Id. Yet, "the
freedom-of-movement test identifies only a necessary and not
a sufficient condition for Miranda custody."
Id. Courts also consider "the ...