May 28, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 14 CR 00112-1 -
Ronald A. Guzman, Judge.
Wood, Chief Judge, and Bauer and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges.
Jon Giles's DNA was found at the scene of the robbery of
North Community Bank, FBI agents interrogated him at the
Pontiac Correctional Center where he was serving a prison
term for two other bank robberies. Giles confessed to the
robbery. Giles argues the district court erred in denying his
motion to suppress the confession, because his prolonged
solitary confinement prior to the interview rendered him
incapable of exercising a voluntary and knowing waiver of his
Fifth Amendment rights. Giles also argues that the district
court failed to properly address his mitigating arguments at
sentencing. For the reasons that follow, we reject these
arguments and affirm the orders of the district court.
2010, Jon Giles pleaded guilty to state robbery charges.
Giles spent the next two years in solitary confinement at
Tamms Correctional Center. When Tamms was shuttered, Giles
was transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center. He spent one
month in general population before returning to isolation
from January 2013 until January 2014.
August 30, 2013, during this period of solitary confinement,
FBI agents Timothy Bacha and Michael Lovernick questioned Jon
Giles. They were investigating a bank robbery at North
Community Bank that took place in 2009. DNA recovered from a
glove found near the crime scene matched Giles's DNA. The
glove was found next to dye-stained money stolen from the
first, Giles refused to meet with the agents. Robin Lopeman,
a Pontiac correctional officer, approached Giles's cell
with Bacha's business card. Giles requested that she show
the card to Robert Hall, a fellow inmate and former gang
associate, following a "home-grown" prison custom
of letting other inmates know where you are going and who you
are talking to. Hall shouted his consent and Giles agreed to
speak to the agents.
and Lovernick read Giles his Miranda rights, and he
agreed in writing to be questioned without an attorney
present. Giles initially denied his involvement in the North
Community Bank robbery until he was shown the DNA report and
photographs of the dyed money. Giles then confessed to the
robbery and agreed to a cheek swab after being advised of his
right to refuse. The swab matched the DNA found on the glove.
was indicted on March 4, 2014, on one count of bank robbery
under 18 U.S.C. § 2113 and one count of using a firearm
in relation to a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. §
924(c). He moved to suppress the confession, arguing that
neither his Miranda waiver nor his confession were
made voluntarily. In support of this claim, Giles cited his
long-term confinement in a "small windowless cell"
which provided little opportunity for human interaction.
Giles said his mental state was "precarious" and
that he had experienced symptoms of "acute anxiety
attacks, insomnia ... uncontrollable rage" and
evidentiary hearing, Giles called psychiatrist Dr. Silberberg
who testified that he conducted a forensic psychiatric
evaluation of Giles on November 4, 2014, and had reviewed
administrative and medical records. Dr. Silberberg stated
that prolonged isolation could result in impaired memory,
attention, and concentration. Isolation could also affect the
ability to make rational decisions, and cause mood disorders.
He testified that the effects could be temporary, and that a
person might be competent at one point in time but not
another. Dr. Silberberg recited Giles's medical history,
which included treatment for psychological disorders and
repeated head trauma, and concluded that Giles would be
particularly vulnerable to the effects of isolation. He
concluded that Giles did not appreciate the significance of
the Miranda warning and that his confession was not
described Giles's initial refusal to speak with the FBI
agents; and how she showed Hall Bacha's business card as
Giles requested. Hall testified that he knew Giles for 17
years, that both were members of the Four Corner Hustlers
gang, and corroborated Lopeman's testimony regarding
Bacha's business card. He said he spoke to Giles
regularly and had no difficulty communicating with him.
corroborated the statements of Lopeman and Hall. He testified
that Giles read a form informing him of his Miranda
rights, recited the consent portion back to Bacha without any
difficulty, and then signed the form agreeing to be
interviewed without an attorney present. Giles denied
involvement with the robbery until being shown the DNA
evidence; Giles then described ...