Issues (from the petition for review):
Whether the admission of hearsay statements of a defendant’s deceased wife inculpating him in murder violates his right to confrontation?
Whether trial counsel is ineffective in failing to move to suppress inculpatory statements that the defendant made at a John Doe hearing where he was in custody and not properly Mirandized?
The court of appeals did not address the first issue. It held that any error was harmless because the hearsay evidence duplicated other untainted evidence.
As for the second issue, Hanson was in custody on other charges when a John Doe hearing was convened regarding the murder at issue in this case. Hanson was called to testify. The court conducted a colloquy mirroring a Miranda warning except it forgot to tell him that if he could not afford a lawyer, one would be appointed for him. Oops. Hanson proceeded to make inculpatory statements. Then at the trial in this case, the State itself raised the possibility that these statements might be inadmissible. Defense counsel saw no problem with their admissibility. Oops. You know what happened next. The statements were admitted and Hanson was convicted. The State now claims that the law is unsettled as to whether Miranda warnings are required at John Doe hearings. Hanson argues that the law is clear: Miranda warnings are required whenever a defendant is in custody and subject to questioning.