Questioning the Relevance of Miranda in the Twenty-First Century
30 Pages Posted: 13 May 2008
Is the Miranda v. Arizona decision a significant influence on the American criminal justice system in the twenty-first century? This article assesses two generations of legal research on Miranda in order to evaluate Miranda's effect on police interrogations, confessions and convictions, and the American public at large. The conclusion is that Miranda marginally limits interrogators from eliciting confessions, its influence on the criminal institution is overstated, and the decision provides few benefits to criminal suspects.
The article also suggests that legal scholars devote more energy to the empirical study of police interrogations and confessions. Finally, this article argues for mandating video or audio recording of police interrogations in order to promote interrogation reform. Such electronic recordings would create an objective, comprehensive, and reviewable record of the interrogation for all parties. Additionally, recording interrogations would furnish scholars with valuable empirical data.
Keywords: criminal procedure, Miranda, interrogations, law enforcement, confessions, taping, recording, interrogation reform
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