Fifty Years Later: Miranda & the Police



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Texas Tech Law Review


In this Article, I examine the assumptions behind the question of whether Miranda (Miranda v. Arizona) has had a net positive or net negative impact on the police. After a brief overview of the Miranda decision in Part I, I set out to answer three questions. In Part II, I examine whether Miranda has impacted police behavior at all. Specifically, I analyze whether the police have complied with both the "letter" and the "spirit" of Miranda, or whether the police have managed to circumvent the requirements set forth in the decision. In Part III, I. address whether Miranda has impacted the behavior of suspects: whether and how often they appear to understand the protections of Miranda and how often they choose to avail themselves of those protections or waive them entirely." In Part IV, I discuss whether Miranda offers the police any benefits or whether it undermines effective interrogation practices and thus the ability to secure the convictions of guilty suspects." I conclude the Article by arguing that, on balance, Miranda has been far more beneficial than detrimental to the police in the United States, that its protections have been largely meaningless or unclaimed by all but the most experienced of criminals, and that, consequently, it has hampered the pursuit of justice as a whole.



Miranda rights, Miranda v. Arizona, Police interrogations, Police questioning, Psychological coercion, Custodial interrogations, Fifth Amendment rights, Miranda at 50 Symposium, Entering the Second Fifty Years of Miranda Symposium


50 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 63