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May 2016 , Page 05 

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From the President: Miranda v. Arizona — Calculating Its Net Effect

By E.G. Morris

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On June 13, Miranda v. Arizona turns 50. Perhaps no other decision of the U.S. Supreme Court has become such a fixture in our popular culture. Television and movies have consistently misconstrued the effect of not reading a suspect the “Miranda rights.” Criminal defense lawyers are constantly explaining to clients that “He didn’t read me my rights” only makes a difference if there was a custodial interrogation and doesn’t require immediate dismissal of the charges.

The requirement of informing a suspect of a litany of rights before beginning custodial questioning has been maligned by many, including the likes of Dirty Harry Callahan and Justice Scalia. Clint Eastwood’s character in the movie Dirty Harry scowled in indignation at the law professor who offered the opinion that standing on Harry’s suspect’s wounded leg until his suspect confessed, and, by the way, not reading him his Miranda rights, rendered the confession invalid. “What about the [victim’s] rights?” he s

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