Miranda Rights Invocations

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Interrogation, Miranda, and Invocations of the Rights to Silence and to Counsel I am a "Law & Order" addict who thinks I could get a perp to confess. A little glaring, some getting in the guy's face, a revelation that his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon and voilà! He's recounting his crime. In real life, police interrogation requires more than confidence and creativity (although those qualities do help) -- interrogators are highly trained in the psychological tactics of social influence. Getting someone to confess to a crime is not a simple task, and the fact that detectives sometimes end up with confessions from the innocent testifies to their expertise in psychological manipulation. No two interrogations are alike, but most exploit certain weaknesses in human nature. These weaknesses typically rely on the stress that results when people experience contrasting extremes, like dominance…show more content…
From that narrow point of view, there’s no harm (from the government’s viewpoint) to reading Miranda rights, and some benefit; there’s no harm because the person probably already knows of their rights, and there is benefit in that any subsequent interrogation at least has the prospect of generating information that also may be admissible (assuming the problems noted above are not present). But this is not the interesting question! The interesting question, the one that is too often neglected, is whether the government intends to honor any invocation of the right to remain silent or the right to counsel (invocations that might occur whether Miranda rights have been read or not). Simply put, the government has always had the option of ignoring these rights if it thinks the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. The benefit, in theory, is obtaining quick access to information that can be used for purposes other than evidence at
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