Interrogations: The Miranda Rule

The Miranda Rule

In Miranda v. Arizona, the Court created an entirely new method of regulating police interrogations of suspects. Rather than search the records of each case for evidence of voluntariness, the Court set forth a procedure under which law enforcement officers must—at least sometimes—inform suspects of certain constitutional rights and the potential consequences of waiving those rights. Under the new rule, the Court would presume confessions were obtained involuntarily if officers failed to follow the new procedure, and such a presumption would lead to exclusion of confessions from evidence at trial. Over the next several chapters, we will explore (1) the basics of the Miranda Rule, (2) how the Court has defined important terms like “custody” and “interrogation,” (3) what constitutes an effective “waiver” of rights under Miranda, and (4) what exceptions apply to the rule that evidence obtained in violation of Miranda is excluded from evidence.

Even more than Terry v. Ohio—which all lawyers and criminal justice students should be able to summarize—Miranda v. Arizona is a case that friends and acquaintances will expect lawyers and criminal justice students to understand. It is probably the most famous criminal procedure case ever decided, and students should form their own opinions about the doctrine it created. 


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Criminal Procedure: Undergraduate Edition Copyright © 2022 by Christopher E. Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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