Reasonable Officers vs. Reasonable Lay Persons in the Supreme Court’s Miranda and Fourth Amendment Cases
Susan F. Mandiberg
Lewis & Clark Law School
September 1, 2010
Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, p. 1481, 2010
Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-4
This Article examines the role of the reasonable person as it applies to the Supreme Court’s investigative criminal procedure jurisprudence. The Article first explores the Court’s concept and use of the reasonable person in the context of Miranda and the Fourth Amendment. The Article then highlights how the Court’s view of the reasonable police officer compares to its treatment of the reasonable lay person. Specifically, the Article notes how, in many circumstances, the Court affords the reasonable police officer more room for imperfection in her perceptions, knowledge, emotions, and behaviors; comparatively, the reasonable lay person is far more frequently expected to check her identity and experiences at the door. This Article concludes that the Court’s differing applications of the reasonable person allow it to balance interests covertly. However, more forthright treatment of the interests at stake would be healthier for the criminal justice system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 57
Keywords: reasonable person, fourth amendment, search and seizure, confessions, miranda, criminal procedure
Date posted: December 19, 2010 ; Last revised: January 25, 2011
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