Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1789004
 


 



It’s Not Just About 'Miranda': Determining the Voluntariness of Confessions in Criminal Prosecutions


Paul Marcus


William & Mary Law School

2006

Valparaiso University Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2006
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-86

Abstract:     
Although Miranda has had a major impact on the admissibility of interrogations, it may come as a surprise to many readers that Miranda has not completely eliminated the pre-1966 rules of voluntariness by any means. In fact, the voluntariness standard is still applicable in a large number of cases today that discuss police interrogations and which do not focus on Miranda warnings as the main issue. This Article evaluates the law on voluntariness by examining several major United States Supreme Court decisions on point and then summarizes the way in which state and federal judges continue to construe and apply the “totality of the circumstances” standard. Several factors arise across the trial court decisions, including acts of deception, threats, promises, duration of interrogation, and the individual defendant’s characteristics, such as age and intelligence. Due to the seemingly endless list of factors and differing weights accorded to each throughout the courts, this due process test offers almost no guidance for lawyers and judges. The messy and ineffective rules of voluntariness that pervaded the 1950s and 1960s are just as poorly and inconsistently applied today.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: Miranda, due process, interrogation, voluntary, totality, circumstances, deception, threat, age, intelligence

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Date posted: March 19, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Marcus, Paul, It’s Not Just About 'Miranda': Determining the Voluntariness of Confessions in Criminal Prosecutions (2006). Valparaiso University Law Review, Vol. 40, No. 3, 2006; William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-86. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1789004

Contact Information

Paul Marcus (Contact Author)
William & Mary Law School ( email )
South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
757-221-3900 (Phone)
757-221-3261 (Fax)
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