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Oregon v. Elstad

Miranda Warnings

In Miranda, the right to remain silent and a continuous opportunity to exercise that right was viewed as critical to the question of voluntariness and coercion regarding confessions. To secure the privilege against self-incrimination, several procedural safeguards were established: persons who were in custody, prior to any questioning, must be warned of their right to remain silent, must be told that any statement they made might be used as evidence against them, that they had a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed, and that they might waive these rights, provided the waiver was made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. The right to interrupt the conversation and refrain from answering any further inquiries until consultation with an attorney was also included. Subsequently, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that Miranda warnings were not constitutional rights, but were instead protective measures created to ensure that the right against compulsory self-incrimination was protected. The basis for establishing Miranda warnings was the conviction that police interrogation itself was inherently coercive and that this coercion conflicted with the privilege of self-incrimination protection. Statements or confessions made without the benefit of Miranda warnings were presumed to be given under compulsion. As a result, they were excluded from evidence. The matter of voluntariness and coercion in giving confessions was thus resolved, and courts and the police were furnished with useful means to secure the admissibility of evidence.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Oregon v. Elstad - Miranda Warnings, Inadmissible Confessions?, The Second Confession Is Admissible, Dissenting Opinions, Impact, Further Readings