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Join the conversation! There are now 9 comments on this chapter's page 48. Miranda’s Magic Words. What are your thoughts?
  1. Andrew M. Farrell says

    But in those cases, are the statements really coerced? I suppose the black woman is still acting motivated the threat of potential jail time…

    • Those aren’t about coercing involuntary statements, but rather to rebut the argument that Miranda warnings shut down voluntary statements that otherwise would have been made.

      • So we know police are allowed to lie and bargain and such, but are they allowed to say things that would be a barrier to exercising these Miranda rights? For example, “You say you want a lawyer, but if you confess before one gets here I’ll make sure you get a deal that will be off the table later.” Or, “If you don’t stat talking now the courts will see that as an admission of guilt.”

  2. That last panel exemplifies a rather interesting problem with the Miranda warning – it’s so ingrained in pop culture that, while people definitely know about it, they’re not entirely certain what it -means-. They think it’s just empty words, a formality, verbal fine print.

    As for people who know their rights, and talk anyways, well…as much as we try, can’t always protect the stupid from themselves.

    • I probably wouldn’t call them stupid — not all cases anyways. Think about it: your heart’s pounding, people are yelling, your arms are behind your back and handcuffed… even if you know those rights, you’re not exactly going to be thinking clearly. Your mind’ll still be in that “fight or flight” mode. You’re probably more likely to blurt out something you’ll regret saying much later.

      Then again, there are some true dolts out there.

      • Also, most people think of themselves as being good, even if they do something “wrong”. If someone feels guilty about something, they may be eager to get it off their chest. It may take a bit to figure out that the very sympathetic cop is probably not the right person to unburden your soul to. So, not stupid, maybe a bit naive, and definitely not at their best time for thinking.
        (Also, note I say “feel” guilty – they don’t actually have to *be* guilty of anything)

  3. KW says

    LOL, that look of joy! :-)

    Sounds like the fix (maybe?) is to disallow at trial all statements made without attorney present. Just need the right case to come along…

  4. WJS says

    I was a bit confused about how the Miranda warning could be a bad thing at first, but I think I’ve got it now; it doesn’t actually stop them from interrogating people except in the minority of cases where the victim – sorry, suspect – takes them up on the offer. In most cases, they get to use testimony and rather than asking if it was coerced, the court just asks if Miranda was given. Is that right?

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