Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Miranda Reality Check

"A newsflash: Miranda does not in any way require the police to warn suspects taken into custody that they don’t have to answer questions or that they have a right to have an attorney present. All that Miranda says is that if the interrogators don’t give the warnings, then (barring an exception), the government won’t be able to introduce into evidence at trial statements the unwarned suspect makes (or the fruits of those statements). Accordingly, there is nothing remotely unusual about the Tsarnaev situation. Millions of criminal suspects are questioned every year by the police (and other law enforcement officials) without ever being advised of their rights under Miranda. Police officers I know tell me they hardly ever Mirandize individuals they arrest because cases in which the arrestee’s statements are relevant to securing a conviction (especially in a world of plea bargaining) are quite unusual." ~Jason Mazzone

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