skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 182289 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Fixing Miranda
Journal: Prosecutor  Volume:34  Issue:1  Dated:January/February  Pages:35-39
Author(s): Paul G. Cassell; William G. Otis
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: When the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the decision in United States v. Dickerson, the stage was set for one of the most important criminal procedure decisions by the Court in recent memory; at issue is whether a purely voluntary confession can be suppressed because of a technical "Miranda" violation.
Abstract: "Dickerson" arose from a bank robbery investigation in northern Virginia in which a joint investigation by FBI agents and State law enforcement officers resulted in the arrest of a serial bank robber named Charles Dickerson. After the agents talked to Dickerson for about an hour, they obtained incriminating statements from him about his involvement in the robberies. At a later suppression hearing, however, there was a dispute about exactly when he had received his Miranda warnings. The district court, citing an ambiguous time reference on the waiver of rights form, sided with Dickerson and suppressed the confession. Prosecutors then provided to the district court a series of affidavits and other documents that corroborated the FBI agents' testimony, but the district court refused to look at this new information. The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's decision, concluding that Federal law did not permit the suppression of a purely voluntary confession. Since the Fourth Circuit's ruling, defense attorneys and their allies have argued that Dickerson was wrongly decided and that the U.S. Supreme Court should preserve the rule than an "un-Mirandized" statement must automatically be excluded, regardless of how clear the evidence that the police treated the defendant fairly and that the defendant spoke voluntarily. The arguments against the Fourth Circuit's decision rest on a series of false claims. This article reviews these false claims and urges that the Supreme Court affirm the Fourth Circuit's ruling. 12 notes
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Confessions; Miranda rights; Rules of evidence; Virginia
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.