Bullshitting the People: The Criminal Procedure Implications of a Scatalogical Term

Texas Tech Law Review, Vol. 39, 2007

66 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2007

See all articles by Andrew E. Taslitz

Andrew E. Taslitz

American University - Washington College of Law

Abstract

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

Taslitz, Andrew E., Bullshitting the People: The Criminal Procedure Implications of a Scatalogical Term. Texas Tech Law Review, Vol. 39, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1005767

Andrew E. Taslitz (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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