Questioning the Relevance of Miranda in the Twenty-First Century

30 Pages Posted: 13 May 2008

See all articles by Richard A. Leo

Richard A. Leo

University of San Francisco - School of Law


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

Suggested Citation

Leo, Richard A., Questioning the Relevance of Miranda in the Twenty-First Century. Michigan Law Review, Vol. 99, 2001, Available at SSRN:

Richard A. Leo (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics