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

Suggested Citation

Leo, Richard A., Miranda's Revenge: Police Interrogation as a Confidence Game. Law and Society Review, Vol. 30, 1996, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1134050

Richard A. Leo (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

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