Miranda's Truth: The Importance of Adversarial Testing and Dignity in Confession Law
22 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016 Last revised: 20 Jun 2019
Date Written: July 27, 2016
The landmark decision of Miranda v. Arizona focuses on the important values of adversarial testing and human dignity. These values can be found among a constellation of values ordinarily aligned with constitutional criminal procedure cases like Miranda. The constellation also includes values such as truth-finding and equality. With the regularization of DNA analysis and the realization that a large number of innocent people have been convicted, however, there has been a recent fixation on truth-finding. Other values have been overshadowed. The myopic pursuit of truth-finding may be somewhat misguided, as certainty of truth is generally impossible. This is recognized by our truth-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard of proof in criminal cases. Although truth-finding is important, adversarial testing and human dignity remain essential, and it is crucial that these values not be sacrificed by exclusive concentration on the alluring value of truth-finding.
Keywords: Miranda, truth, confession, false confession, truth-finding, dignity, equality, adversarial testing, adversarial system, adversarial process
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation