Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2003


Miranda v. Arizona, Dickerson v. United States, Supreme Court, Fifth Amendment, 18 U.S.C. § 3501, Suppression of statements, Warning and waiver requirements, United States v. Patane, Missouri v. Seibert


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Evidence


Miranda v. Arizona has been a prominent fixture of the American criminal justice system, as well as police television shows and movies, for more than a third of a century. And when, amid considerable fanfare, the Supreme Court in June 2000 announced its decision in Dickerson v. United States, it appeared that Miranda would retain that status for the foreseeable future. In Dickerson, a surprisingly large 7–2 majority settled a long-standing debate about the constitutional legitimacy of Miranda, holding that the Miranda rules are firmly grounded in the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination clause.

But now, a mere three years later, Miranda’s fortunes have shifted dramatically. In May of this year, a divided Supreme Court cast doubt on whether Miranda imposes an obligation on police when they question arrested suspects. And, in the coming Term, the Court will decide two cases that further will determine whether Miranda will continue to play a significant role in regulating police interrogation practices. There is a good chance that by this time next year, with tacit approval from the Court, many police departments will spend more time and energy devising methods of circumventing the Miranda rules than following them.

Publication Citation

Steven D. Clymer, "Miranda's Demise," 30 Cornell Law Forum 3 (2003)