A Return to the 'Bright Line Rule' of Miranda
55 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2011
Date Written: 1993
When deciding Miranda, the Supreme Court's intent was to create a workable rule to guide police officers largely untrained in the law in order to ensure voluntariness of confessions. The Justices also sought to eliminate confusion and lack of guidance created by the earlier Escobedo opinion. Unfortunately, the many exceptions and limitations on Miranda have undermined its value as a workable bright line rule, instead requiring precisely the type of fact specific case-by-case analysis the Court initially sought to avoid. The Court should return to a bright line rule for Miranda. A clear rule could be achieved by eliminating many of the exceptions in the determinations of custody, interrogation, the mandated warnings, resumption of questioning, and waiver. The effect would be to strike the appropriate balance between sufficient guidance to law enforcement officers and the protection of suspects' rights.
Keywords: Miranda, intent, Escobedo, bright line rule, interrogation, warnings, rights, protections, and waiver
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