Miranda as a Rule of Evidence

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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3 Responses

  1. While I think you’re right to point out that Miranda 1) created no affirmative constitutional rights and 2) is best viewed as a permutation of a rule of evidence, it’s also important to remember that it works in conjunction with the exclusionary rule. Evidence obtained as a result of a coerced confession without benefit of Miranda is still subject to exclusion, as is evidence that logically could not have been obtained without the confession.

    It’s also worthwhile to note that Miranda has been eroded, in spirit and effect, every year since it was first decided more than a generation ago. To some extent that was inevitable but it nevertheless is the result of a political aversion to recognition of individual rights over state power and in that sense is an unfortunate trend in our history. Most people do not realize the importance of civil liberties and meaningful checks on governmental power until they have personally experienced the heavy foot of the state on their own throats.Report

    • @Transplanted Lawyer, Miranda jurisprudence often breathes life into the maxim, “Bad facts make bad law.” Courts find it easy to carve out exceptions when the alternative is to suppress the confession of a defendant who no reasonable person would want out on the streets.

      I’ve been told by police officers that they have no particular difficulty getting confessions despite Miranda, and that its use has significantly reduced the number of confessions that juries reject – jurors are disinclined to believe a defendant’s statement was coerced if he was Mirandized.Report

  2. Boonton says:

    Actually one thing that bothers me is the claim that terrorists cannot be questioned ‘when they’ve been Mirandized’ or whatnot. The way I read the law they most certainly can. Evidence collected, though, simply cannot be used against them. But they can be questioned, say, about other possible plots or the locations of training camps.Report