Miranda's Waning Protections
Police Interrogation Practices after Dickerson
Now available in paper, Welsh S. White's insightful examination of the effect of the Supreme Court's recent upholding of one of its most famous rulings
Did the Supreme Court's upholding of Miranda in 2000 adversely impact law enforcement, as conservatives have complained, or was it a reaffirmation of individual rights?
Welsh S. White looks at both sides of the issue, emphasizing that Miranda represents just one stage in the Court's ongoing struggle to accommodate a fundamental conflict between law enforcement and civil liberties, and assessing whether the Court's present decisions (including Miranda) strike an appropriate balance between promoting law enforcement's interest in obtaining reliable evidence and the individual's interest in being protected from overreaching police practices.
Praise / Awards
"The verdict is in: Miranda v. Arizona represents a failure of legal liberalism. . . by most accounts, Miranda has been a spectacular failure. Welsh White offers an accomplished account of the failures of Miranda in Miranda's Waning Protections. . . . While the Warren Court assumed that providing suspects with the right to control the interrogation process would give suspects 'the antidote to the coercive effect of custodial interrogation,' White argues that this belief today is either 'naive or disingenuous.' For a variety of reasons, Miranda has failed 'to provide rules or guidelines that will regulate police interrogation practices.' This insight is the heart and soul of White's book, and it is a powerful insight indeed. Courts have become so accustomed to thinking of Miranda as the (perhaps contested) solution to the problem of police pressure that the legal world has largely lost sight of the court's independent duty to regulate police interrogation practices. White's book seeks to reinvigorate the idea that courts should review police interrogation practices and set standards for permissible police conduct. . . . I endorse White's idea that Miranda and the current due process regime need a meaningful due process supplement that focuses on the risk of moving suspects to confess falsely. . . . I agree with his insight that innocence is too likely sacrificed in the police interrogation room to be left wholly in Miranda's care. I think my account of choice further substantiates White's case against Miranda.
—George C. Thomas III, Rutgers University, Texas Law Review, March 2003
"White ultimately argues that, as a protection of the free will of suspects, Miranda is flawed to the core, and the flaw has been exacerbated by the narrow interpretation of later Courts."
—George C. Thomas III, Rutgers University, Criminal Justice Review, Spring 2000
"All of Welsh White's suggestions are of immediate practical value to practicing lawyers. He argues for little change in the law, instead primarily insisting that current due process rules are weakly applied because they ignore the lessons of social science. Any criminal defense attorney can make ready use of the empirical data in White's book to support a suppression motion. White's strategy of focusing on the dangers of wrongful convictions, that is, of convicting the innocent, is also more likely to move policymakers to action in a law-and-order world than are pleas to respect the rights of the guilty. White's book is, therefore, likely over time to have a significant practical impact. . . . Yet his book is concise, beautifully written, carefully argued, and well supported. His subtle prose will appeal to all educated readers, his creativity will excite academics, and his nuts-and-bolts practicality will have an impact on policymakers. It is no overstatement to say that this is one of the most accessible and yet important books on the law of confessions of the last 20 years. Failure to read and use it should be considered malpractice." —Andrew E. Taslitz, Howard University, Criminal Justice, Fall 2002
". . . should become the definitive study of this important Court-imposed limitation on the police. This fine book is accessible to and valuable for upper-division undergraduates, practitioners, and the interested public."
—M. M. Feeley, University of California, Berkeley, Choice, October 2002
". . . a timely, fascinating and often troubling account of police interrogation procedures and the law surrounding this crucial police task. . . . [White's] account of MIRANDA and its progeny is insightful, balanced, and comprehensive, yet concise. . . . [A]n indispensable contribution to the literature on the subject. . . ."
—Law and Politics Book Review
Copyright © 2001, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.
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