The Law: Trimming Miranda

The fondest hope of many a Warren Court critic has been that the Burger Court would overturn the 1966 Miranda decision. That momentous piece of "strict construction" requires police to inform suspects of their rights to silence, to a lawyer—and to free counsel if they are indigent; it also bars the use in court of any statement obtained without a reminder of those rights. But instead of reversing Miranda outright, the new majority has opted for trimming, undercutting or blunting its reach.

In recent years the court has held that an improperly obtained...

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