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NCJ Number: 90414 Find in a Library
Title: Confessions - A Comparison of Exclusion Under Miranda in the United States and Under the Judges' Rules in England
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Law  Volume:10  Issue:2  Dated:(July 1982)  Pages:87-112
Author(s): J H Kaci
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 26
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: While confessions that violate America's Miranda ruling are automatically excluded, under England's Judges' Rules, greater discretion is lodged in the judiciary; however, the judiciary's philosophy on the rights of defendants may have a greater impact on the handling of confessions than the set of rules applied.
Abstract: Critics of Miranda have claimed that mandatory exclusion is too harsh a punishment for police misdeeds and that more discretion should be vested in the trial judge. England has such a system. The courts determine the admissibility of a confession by a set of administrative guidelines called Judges' Rules. These Rules impose standards for the police in obtaining confessions but leave final determination of the confession's admissibility to the trial judge's discretion. The judge may admit a confession even though the police violated the regulations, and the judge may exclude a confession if the totality of the circumstances unfairly coerced the defendant despite the meticulous following of the rules by the police. It is apparent that in England the judiciary's philosophy on the defendant's rights has a great impact on the handling of confessions. This can also be true in the United States. In some cases, a judge's personal disdain for Miranda rules has led to exaggerated definitions of voluntariness which permit a variety of inducements to confess; on the other hand, truly voluntary confessions have been excluded due to unintentional technical errors in the administration of required warnings. The preferred system for the United States would be one where Miranda warnings are required while the ultimate test of admissibility is based on the totality of the circumstances and adherence to the spirit of the fifth amendment. Such an approach would require expanded efforts to educate the judiciary in the conceptual framwork of confessions and the wise use of discretion. Eighty-two footnotes are provided, and the Judges' Rules are appended.
Index Term(s): Coercive persuasion of offenders; Comparative analysis; Confessions; England; Miranda rights; Police legal limitations; United States of America
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