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Behav Sci Law. 2001;19(4):453-71.

A review and update on the practice of evaluating Miranda comprehension.

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Harvard Medical School, Cambridge 02140-0011, USA.


This article summarizes recent developments in constitutional law relevant to the Miranda warning. We describe the origins of the warning, concerns about the use of the Miranda warning, perspectives on the utility of the warning, and the relevance of the warning. We describe how the warning has changed over time, requirements for administering the warning, and procedures that police use in delivering the warning and obtaining confessions. We review case law relevant to "coerced" Miranda waivers and confessions, changes over time in the court's interpretation of what constitutes "coercion," use of the warning with special populations, and the recent focus in case law on individual factors that might impair Miranda comprehension. We review empirical research on factors associated with deficits in Miranda comprehension. We integrate case law rulings and empirical research into suggested approaches to forensic assessment of Miranda comprehension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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