A Miranda Warning That Requires More?

For juveniles, is it really enough to provide a formal recitation of the rights and Miranda warnings (from Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)), usually from a card or a document, without an inquiry about whether the child understood the meaning of the words and phrases?

An example of the Miranda warning is:  “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak with me?”

Researchers and advocates are now proposing that the child would have to explain in his or her own words what the rights mean, and even explain why the information is important before an interrogation.  The Dialogue Approach to Miranda Warnings and Waiver by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, 49 Am. Crim L. Rev. 1437 (2012), discusses this approach.

The courts have begun to lay the legal framework.  In Florida v. Powell, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Miranda warnings need not use the same language in every jurisdiction.

For additional posts on interrogations, see:

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