Professor Believes Latest SCOTUS Decision Further Threatens Miranda Rights

Released: 1-Jun-2010 3:50 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Iowa
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Newswise — A University of Iowa law professor and expert in evidence collection and suspect rights said the Miranda Rights are becoming increasingly threatened after the latest ruling by the United States Supreme Court.

James Tomkovicz, an expert in criminal law and the Miranda Rights, said Monday’s decision in the case Berghuis v. Thompkins is another in the “death by a thousand cuts” attack on the Miranda warnings in recent years.

The Court’s decision on Monday said that criminal suspects must specifically invoke their Miranda right to remain silent, and if they do not, then they have waived their rights. The warnings—named after the Supreme Court’s 1966 decision that identified them—give criminal suspects various rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

Tomkovicz has published widely on the topic of suspect rights and the Miranda Rights in particular, and has written numerous amicus curiae briefs about them in past Supreme Court cases (though he was not involved in this case). He said the Supreme Court has watered down the rights significantly in recent years—including two other decisions during the Court’s current term—and he expects that trend to continue in coming terms.


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