Miranda's Truth: The Importance of Adversarial Testing and Dignity in Confession Law

22 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016 Last revised: 20 Jun 2019

See all articles by Meghan J. Ryan

Meghan J. Ryan

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: July 27, 2016

Abstract

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

Ryan, Meghan J., Miranda's Truth: The Importance of Adversarial Testing and Dignity in Confession Law (July 27, 2016). Northern Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2016, SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 313, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2815161

Meghan J. Ryan (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.smu.edu/professor-profiles/ryan

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