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The Champion

May 2016 , Page 38 

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Miranda Warnings and Waivers: Often Heard But Seldom Understood

By Richard Rogers and Eric Y. Drogin

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Many millions of adult and juvenile suspects have been routinely advised of their “Miranda rights” in the half-century since the 1966 landmark decision of Miranda v. Arizona.1 The FBI reported that approximately 11 million arrests occurred in 2014 alone, including 571,786 juveniles of whom 157,390 were below the age of 15.2 These numbers do not include suspects who were not arrested, some of whom may have misunderstood their advisements and unwittingly provided noncustodial, self-incriminating statements. Nonetheless, the ubiquity of Miranda warnings is certainly not the primary reason that Miranda is still heralded as “an integral part of the American justice process” and “a fundamental part of criminal justice jurisprudence.”3 

The overriding purpose of the Miranda warning is the protection of the arrestee’s right against self-incrimination. Writing for the majority in Miranda, Chief Justice Warren explained: “The current practice of incommunicado interrogation is

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