Bullshitting the People: The Criminal Procedure Implications of a Scatalogical Term
Texas Tech Law Review, Vol. 39, 2007
66 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2007
A new literature of bullshit studies has arisen, and this paper seeks to extend that literature to law. This paper analyzes when, if ever, the police may fail to inform suspects of their constitutional rights, mislead them about their content, or distract them from appreciating their significance. The paper draws on philosophical writings distinguishing bullshit from other phenomena, cognitive science work on deception and distraction, and political theory on the role of an informed citizenry. The piece also analyzes the costs and benefits of bullshit, seeking an appropriate balance between the injuries it does to the individual and the people against the state's need for law enforcement.
Keywords: bullshit, deception, rights, warnings, people, peoplehood, informed, search and seizure, interrogations, confessions, fourth amendment, fifth amendment, due process
JEL Classification: K14, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation