Legal Thought Of The Day, No. 5

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Legal Thought of the Day: No. 5
Current mood: tested
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

Miranda‘s revenge, however, has been to transform police power inside the interrogation room without undermining its effectiveness. Not only have the Miranda warnings exercised little or no effect on confession rates, but police have also embraced Miranda as a legitimating symbol of their professionalism. Miranda warnings symbolically declare that police take individual rights seriously. At the same time, Miranda inspired police to create more sophisticated interrogation strategies, effectively giving them the license to act as confidence men and develop their skills in human manipulation and deception. In ways not captured by doctrinal analysis, Miranda has changed profoundly both the psychological context and the moral ordering of police interrogation. Driven by careful strategic considerations, police interrogators exercise power by manipulating custodial suspects’ definition of the situation and of their role; by creating the appearance of a symbiotic rather than an adversarial relationship; by appealing to their insider knowledge and expertise; and by exploiting the suspects’ ignorance, fear and trust. Despite the universalistic pretensions of Miranda, the exercise of police power inside the interrogation room rests more on particularistic appeals than on universal norms. That contemporary police interrogation resembles both the method and substance of a classic confidence game-and thus has become manipulative and deceptive to its very core-may be Miranda‘s most enduring legacy.”

~Richard A. Leo, Sociologist
Miranda’s Revenge: Police Interrogation as a Confidence Game, 30 Law & Socy. Rev. 259 (1996).

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8:03 PM – 2 Comments – 1 Kudos – Add CommentEditRemove
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dude you are so ready to take that criminal procedure exam by its horns…

Posted by Ariel on Wednesday, December 05, 2007 at 11:49 PM
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that’s interesting. my dad may be a retired cop, but the only things i know about the police interrogation process is what i see on TV – and i don’t usually watch those shows.

Posted by J’Nette on Thursday, December 06, 2007 at 11:31 AM
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