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Miranda Decision

Reading Miranda

  • How to Read a Legal Opinion ...
    Kerr, Orin S., How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide... The GREEN BAG, An Entertaining Journal of Law, Vol 11, No. 1, p. 51, Autumn 2007; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 414; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 414. Available at SSRN:
  • Miranda Warnings and the Bill of Rights

The Warning

Miranda Warnings as defined by the Supreme Court:  "  ...  Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed ..." [Miranda]

Miranda Warnings in plain english

   1. You have the right to remain silent.
   2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
   3. You have the right to have an attorney present before any questioning.
   4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning. Do you understand these rights?

[Landmark Cases of the Supreme Court]


Research Articles

Legal Encyclopedias


Is this MIRANDA WARNING stuff simple?

  • Does the law stay the same?
    Court Says Miranda Rights Don’t Bar Requestioning. By Adam Liptak, New York Times (February 24, 2010) "The police can take a second run at questioning a suspect who has invoked his Miranda rights, but they must wait until 14 days after the suspect has been released from custody, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday..."
  • Can juveniles effectively exercise Miranda Rights?  
    The United States Supreme Court has decided more cases
    involving the interrogation of juveniles than any other aspect of juvenile justice administration.Although it has cautioned trial judges to be especially sensitive to the effects of youthfulness and immaturity on a defendant’s ability to waive or to invoke her Miranda rights and to make voluntary statements, ...
  • Can mentally disordered people be Mirandized?  
    A conservative estimate is that 695,000 mentally disordered offenders are arrested and Mirandized annually in the United States. Can they truly be said to effectively waive their constitutional rights without an attorney present?

BERGHUIS v. THOMPKINS ( No. 08-1470 )

  • BERGHUIS v. THOMPKINS ( No. 08-1470 ) Decided June 1, 2010  
    Take a look at J. Sotomayor's Dissent. The LII / Legal Information Institute (Cornell University Law School) publishes all SCOTUS decisions online, making them available to the public in a free, open access environment.
  • Berghuis v. Thompkins - OYEZ
    The Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.

Secondary Analysis

Analysis: Tilting Miranda toward the police - Berghuis v. Thompkins, Opinion recap

"More than four decades after the Supreme Court ordered police to warn suspects about their rights before questioning them, the actual day-to-day practice has not turned out to be a simple ritual under clear ground rules.  Encounters in interrogation rooms still and often are a test of wills, with detectives trying to get answers and suspects trying to avoid talking themselves into deeper trouble.  As a result, the Court often has had to reinterpret its 1966 decision in Miranda v. Arizona.  It did so again on Tuesday, and this time the result decisively tilted the warnings procedure toward the police. 

By a 5-4 vote, the Court for the first time made two things clear about Miranda rights: first, if a suspect does not want to talk to police — that is, to invoke a right to silence — he must say so, with a clear statement because it is not enough to sit silently or to remain uncooperative, even through a long session; and, second, if the suspect finally answers a suggestive question with a one-word response that amounts to a confession, that, by itself, will be understood as a waiver of the right to silence and the statement can be used as evidence.  Police need not obtain an explicit waiver of that right. The net practical effect is likely to be that police, in the face of a suspect’s continued silence after being given Miranda warnings, can continue to question him, even for a couple of hours, in hopes eventually of getting him to confess..." [RESTOFSTORY]


ACLU Blog of Rights:    Miranda: If it Ain't Broke…    (Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

The next time you sit down to watch your favorite crime show (Law & Order: SVU is mine), think about how often you've heard the words: "You have the right to remain silent…" as the detective/cop whips out the handcuffs and arrests a suspect. That's called the Miranda warning, a requirement enshrined into law by the 1966 Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona. In that decision, the high court determined that suspects must be informed of their Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights "prior to interrogation" if their statements are to be used against them in court.

(Quickie civics lesson: The Fifth Amendment states in part that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," a.k.a. the safeguard against self-incrimination. The Sixth Amendment states in part that the suspect has the right "to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense," a.k.a. the right to a lawyer.)

To be "Mirandized" is to be "read your rights."


Oral argument

Miranda v. Arizona

Media Items
Miranda v. Arizona - Oral Argument

The Oyez Project, Miranda v. Arizona , 384 U.S. 436 (1966) available at: ( (last visited Thursday, April 22, 2010).


Supreme Court of the United States -- "The United States Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices..." [U.S. Courts]
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Cato @ Liberty on Miranda

  • Miranda Ain’t Broke (Cato @ Liberty)
    The Federalist Society has a podcast up, Miranda & Terror Suspects, debating whether terrorism suspects should be given Miranda warnings. University of Utah law professors Paul Cassell and Amos Guiora debate the issue, and Richard D. Klingler of Sidley Austin LLP moderates. Cassell provides a slideshow to go with the audio file....



  • Wikipedia
    Wikipedia articles analyze virtually all landmark court decisions and many other significant if not landmark opinions.

Sentencing Law & Policy

A blog about sentencing and criminal justice related issues in the law by a Professor of Law ... This RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed helps to keep us up to date on  the most important developments in this area of research and study.

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Miranda in News

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