The Champion

May 2016 , Page 46 

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False Confessions in The 21st Century

By Richard A. Leo and Brian L. Cutler

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This special issue of The Champion is dedicated to the Miranda decision, one of the best-known and controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings in American history. The Miranda warning is so well known that many Americans can recite a credible version of it, having heard it in countless crime movies and television episodes. Although the warning is part of the country’s collective consciousness, Miranda has done little to reduce the risk of wrongful conviction resulting from false confessions.1 

The overwhelming majority of suspects (78 to 96 percent),2 after police inform them of their Miranda rights, waive them. Suspects give about as much attention to Miranda warnings as free Wi-Fi seekers give to click-through agreements to access the internet. After a suspect has waived his rights, however, police officers have free rein to conduct accusatory interrogations, where they presume guilt and may deceive the suspect about the purpose of the interrogation, the evidence agai

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