Law: Miranda: Out off the Doghouse

The Supreme Court broadens defendants' pretrial rights

In countless speeches and court opinions, Chief Justice Warren Burger has criticized the "massive safeguards for accused persons" that, in his view, unduly hamper law enforcement and criminal justice. High among the safeguards that the legal community has always assumed he had in mind were those provided by the court's 1966 landmark ruling in Miranda vs. Arizona. That decision requires police, before they question someone they have arrested, to inform him of a brief list of rights, including his freedom to remain silent and to consult a lawyer. Indeed, since Burger became Chief Justice in...

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