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Professor Yale Kamisar, the country's foremost scholar of Miranda and police interrogation, presents an analysis and critique of the Supreme Court's latest interpretation of Miranda. In Duckworth, a 5-4 Court upheld the "if and when" language systematically used by the Hammond, Indiana, Police Department: "We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you, if you wish, if and when you go to court." The real issue was whether the police effectively conveyed the substance of a vital part of Miranda: the right to have a lawyer appointed prior to any questioning. Professor Kamisar argues that the language upheld is unnecessarily confusing and misleading and that the best explanation for the Hammond police's continued use of this language is that it lessens the likelihood of an assertion of rights.


Posted with the permission of Thomson Reuters.