Berghuis v. Thompkins: The Continued Erosion of Miranda's Protections
26 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2012
Date Written: 2011
In the forty-four years since the Supreme Court of the United States decided Miranda v. Arizona, the “procedural safeguards” set forth in that case have become ingrained in American law enforcement practices. However, subsequent Supreme Court decisions interpreting and applying Miranda have weakened its impact, causing some to question its significance and efficacy as a tool protecting suspects’ privilege against self-incrimination. The Court’s decision in Berghuis v. Thompkins continues this emasculating trend, first, by expressly heightening the standard necessary for suspects to invoke the right to remain silent and, second, by implicitly lowering the standard necessary to establish waiver. This comment focuses on how the Court reached its decision, what the Court ought to have decided, what negative impacts Berghuis may have on the American criminal justice system, and how those negative impacts may be limited.
Keywords: Miranda, Berghuis v. Thompkins, privilege against self-incrimination, right to remain silent
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