The Supreme Court's decision in Miranda v. Arizona has been and will be a lightning rod for controversy so long as it remains in effect. The decision has been lauded for its apparent protection of individual dignity from overzealous police and criticized as an unwarranted shackle on legitimate law enforcement techniques. Nevertheless, Miranda has weathered the storms and, thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in Dickerson v. United States, has endured. Unknown to most proponents or detractors, however, Miranda has had little effect on what actually occurs during police interrogations. The reasons for this are varied. First, by creating numerous exceptions to Miranda, the Supreme Court has whittled away at the protections Miranda sought to provide. Second, Miranda rights are frequently waived by suspects.
Waiver of Miranda rights is a result of a fundamental flaw in the well-intentioned scheme. The warnings are recited to the suspect and then the suspect is left with choices-remain silent, ask for an attorney, or talk to the authorities. Although the suspect may be aware that he has various options available to him, the warnings have not supplied him with the appropriate criteria to govern his choice. This Comment proposes that a suspect should be required to meet with counsel prior to custodial interrogation and to have counsel accompany him during the interrogation.
Cunningham, Benjamin D.
"A Deep Breath Before the Plunge: Undoing Miranda's Failure Before It's Too Late,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 55:
4, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol55/iss4/15