Term Paper: Miranda Rule's Effectiveness in America

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[. . .] Bin Laden, a federal district court held that the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination applies to non-American citizens interrogated abroad, thus requiring Miranda warnings in this context"

Godsey). While the necessity of Miranda in foreign situations has not totally been proven, it stands to reason that if an international suspect is going to face trial in America, the same statutes should govern their arrest and trial that govern any domestic suspect.

Critics of Miranda say it impedes evidence, and ultimately leads to more case dismissals when interviews come into question. However, one 1988 study showed this was simply not the case. "The study also found that 'Eighty-seven percent of the 234 prosecutors surveyed believed that 5% or less of their cases were dismissed because of Miranda problems'" (Bradley 43). Critics also believe that Miranda has affected the way the police interrogate and gain information from their prisoners, and because of this, it costs the taxpayers more money each year in court and prison costs. One expert writes,

The Miranda rule complicates law enforcement procedures and results in fewer prosecutions. Dropping it would streamline prosecutions and save millions of dollars in court costs. After Miranda was first adopted, the number of voluntary confessions fell dramatically, as did the rate of convictions and crimes solved. The Miranda rule was intended only as a safeguard for constitutional rights - not as an arrest procedure (Carrillo).

However, the Supreme Court has looked at the law several times since its inception in 1966, and has always upheld the ruling. It is now such standard police procedure that it is difficult to think it continues to make such a large and costly effect on the U.S. court systems. Just about everyone knows about the Miranda law now, and suspects can waive their Miranda rights if they choose, and they are informed they are waiving their rights if they choose to talk to an interrogator anyway. As one expert notes, Miranda has not really created a new wave of interrogation - suspects will still waive their rights if they think it will help serve them in some way. "Guilty suspects who think they can outsmart police would have talked in the 'old days' and today gladly waive their Miranda rights and talk to the police. Guilty suspects who can be tricked into making damaging statements by the police can also be tricked into waiving their Miranda rights

Thomas 1). Thus, Miranda, while creating controversy, really has not seemed to flood the courts with inadmissible cases, neither has it changed, for the most part, how police go about getting confessions from suspects. Thus, the arguments that Miranda costs the taxpayer more money while allowing suspects to go free simply does not hold water. In addition, in many cases, the Miranda rule helps policing, because it ensures the information the police obtain will hold up in court, and it ensures the rights of the suspect are maintained at all times.

In conclusion, the Miranda Rule is a vital part of today's policing, and, while controversial, it must be allowed to continue. Critics continue to discredit Miranda, and call for its' overturning, but the Supreme Court continues to uphold the decision. In additional, many professional organizations recognize the importance of Miranda both for police departments and the efficiency of the court system, and they call for its continued use and acceptance. The Miranda Rule is an excellent example of a law that creates constant controversy and discussion, but ultimately was created to protect the rights of the individual, and it does its job quite well, while still supporting the criminal justice system.


Author not Available. "The Miranda Rule." FindLaw.com. 2002. 6 Dec. 2003. http://cobrands.public.findlaw.com/newcontent/flg/ch14/st3/mc1.html

Bradley, Craig M. The Failure of the Criminal Procedure Revolution. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.

Carrillo, Silvio. "Do Miranda Rights Create a Loophole for Criminals?" SpeakOut.com. 3 Feb. 2000. 6 Dec. 2003. http://speakout.com/activism/issue_briefs/1148b-1.html

Godsey, Mark A. "Miranda's final frontier, the international arena: a critical analysis of United States v. Bin Laden, and a proposal for a new Miranda exception abroad." Duke Law Journal 51.6 (2002): 1703+.

Thomas, George C. "The End of the Road for Miranda v. Arizona? On the History and Future of Rules for Police… [END OF PREVIEW]

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