All Benefits, No Costs: The Grand Illusion of Miranda’s Defenders
Paul G. Cassell
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law
August 18, 2011
Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 3, 1996
A leading defender of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona concluded that the famous and controversial criminal law decision provides substantial benefits and virtually no costs. But how can something that makes so little difference be so important? In the real world, things are more complicated.
This rejoinder article contends that this “no costs” illusion is possible only by indulging every presumption against Miranda’s harm. Miranda’s defender does not acknowledge that the range of error in methodology is equally likely to create a “deceptive illusion” of low or nonexistent costs. Part I demonstrates that, far from calculating Miranda’s greatest possible harm, conventional studies simply read the data resourcefully to put Miranda in the best possible light and to shrink Miranda’s costs to an acceptable level. Part II then takes on challenges to the desirability of modifying Miranda by replacing its waiver and questioning cut-off rules with a mandatory videotaping regime.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Victim, Crime Victim, Impact Statement, Criminal Justice, Sentencing
Date posted: August 19, 2011