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Why Miranda Does Not Prevent Confessions: Some Lessons from Albert Camus, Arthur Miller and Oprah Winfrey

19 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2007  

Timothy P. O'Neill

John Marshall Law School

Abstract

Why do 80% of suspects in custodial interrogation waive their Miranda rights and talk to the police? This paper contends that "the right to remain silent" is a relatively recent gloss on the Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against oneself. In fact, remaining silent in the face of accusations is actually counter-intuitive.

The paper then considers Camus' "The Fall" and Miller's "After the Fall." Each work is an extended confession ---- and in each work the confessant, oddly enough, is a lawyer. The paper contends these works illustrate that a confessant is by definition "making his case," that is, performing in the role of a lawyer for himself. Further, police interrogation tactics actually pretend to help the suspect "make a case for himself," thus creating the illusion that assistance of counsel is unnecessary.

Keywords: Miranda, confessions, Camus, Arthur Miller

Suggested Citation

O'Neill, Timothy P., Why Miranda Does Not Prevent Confessions: Some Lessons from Albert Camus, Arthur Miller and Oprah Winfrey. Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 51, No. 3, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1003501

Timothy P. O'Neill (Contact Author)

John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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