The Law: Right Turn

Just as President Nixon hoped, the Burger court is swinging to the "center." The biggest losers are those who often seemed to be the Warren era's biggest winners: criminal defendants.

Last week the Burger court sharpened that trend with a 5-to-4 decision limiting Miranda v. Arizona, the famous 1966 ruling that requires police to warn all suspects in custody of their rights to silence and counsel. Speaking for the majority, Chief Justice Burger offered prosecutors a possible way out when police fail to give the Miranda warnings. Until last week, such a failure was thought to make a suspect's in-custody statements wholly...

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