Miranda's Revenge: Police Interrogation as a Confidence Game
Law and Society Review, Vol. 30, 1996
30 Pages Posted: 16 May 2008
This article explores the intricacies and mechanics of police interrogations in light of the Miranda decision. Legal scholars have yet to resolve the question of why suspects usually waive their rights and provide incriminating admissions and confessions. This article argues that the answer to this question lies in the nature of contemporary interrogation strategies. By developing sophisticated interrogation strategies based on manipulation, deception, and persuasion, the American police have replaced coercive pre-Miranda interrogation practices with manipulative and deceptive tactics that resemble the structure and sequence of a classic confidence game. The article concludes that Miranda's enduring legacy has been to transform police power inside the interrogation room without undermining its effectiveness.
Keywords: Criminal procedure, Miranda, law enforcement, interrogations, confessions
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