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On Miranda and Misinterpretation: A Look at the Rights of Native American Defendants

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/3383

On Miranda and Misinterpretation: A Look at the Rights of Native American Defendants

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Title: On Miranda and Misinterpretation: A Look at the Rights of Native American Defendants
Author: Morris, S. Meredith
Subject(s): Miranda Rule
Eracism
United States Supreme Court
Constitutional Rights
Language
Culture
Native Americans
Abstract: In this paper, I posit that the Miranda ruling from the infamous case Miranda v. Arizona, when poorly applied, results in profound and blatant Eracism. I will begin Part I by stepping back in history to look at the evolution of Miranda and the cases that followed. Next, I take a look at the 2000 Census data and address the relatively current minority population percentages. Then, in Part II, I dissect Miranda, revealing what "custody" and "interrogation", the "right to an attorney" and "valid waiver" mean according to the Supreme Court. In Part III of this paper, I take a deeper look at how language and culture interact and intersect with Miranda. Language and culture have profound impact on the outcome of Miranda cases. In Part IV, I move on to discuss solutions to the problems resulting under Miranda and what some jurisdictions in the United States are doing to remedy these problems. I explore legal and educational options and solutions. I propose that attorneys and judges, police officers and FBI agents need to be educated on the critical relationship between cultural heritage/ understanding/ interpretation and the outcome of Miranda cases. I insist that interrogations be videotaped and that attorneys be 'on call" and available so that an attorney is present for every interrogation. I suggest that the right to a licensed interpreter be added to the Miranda language. I conclude with a plea for education on Constitutional rights, for a strong movement of Native American Critical Race Theorists and more cultural studies and cultural competency training.
Date: 2006
Description: 40 p. ; This student paper has been awarded the 2006 Raymond W. Schowers Prize.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/3383

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