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NCJ Number: NCJ 182327     Find in a Library
Title: Confessions and Culture: The Interaction of Miranda and Diversity
Author(s): Floralynn Einesman
  Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:90  Issue:1  Dated:Fall 1999  Pages:1 to 48
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 48
  Annotation: This analysis of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona in 1966 notes that the court could not foresee future demographic changes and that in recent years courts nationwide have had to confront factors such as the defendant’s cultural heritage, language skills, and familiarity with the criminal justice system.
Abstract: The Miranda decision openly recognized the inherent coercion of incommunicado police interrogation and acknowledged that police officers use sophisticated psychological ploys to encourage suspects to confess. The decision also used the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination rather than other amendments to protect the individual and rejected a case-by-case approach to evaluating confessions. However, the Court could not predict that millions of future immigrants would come from Latin America and Asia and that 32 million people in 1990 would report speaking a language other than English in their homes. Thus, it is not surprising that the Miranda decision made little mention of the defendant’s cultural heritage and language skills. However, the suspect’s cultural heritage and language affect every facet of Miranda. Therefore, courts throughout the country have had to consider whether and how the Miranda analysis should incorporate the defendant’s culture. Society’s new composition makes it critically important for attorneys, judges, and legal scholars to be sensitive to the roles that culture and language have in the interpretation of confession law under Miranda v. Arizona. Footnotes
Main Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions
Index Term(s): Right against self incrimination ; Rights of the accused ; Confessions ; Arrest and apprehension ; Interpreters ; Languages ; Coercive persuasion of offenders ; Miranda rights ; Ethnic groups ; Cultural influences ; Immigrants/Aliens ; Arrest procedures ; Police-minority relations
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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