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Careers: Police/Reading people their "rights"


My wife watches all those crime dramas. Many times the tv-police will read their suspects their rights. Miranda? My son likes to watch shows like 'cops.' Which are real, or not. I am not sure. Any way he noted to me that on shows like 'cops,' NO LAW ENFORCEMENT person ever, never, gives people their rights when they arrest them. They just keep asking them all kinds of questions, literally asking them to hand-over a complete confession.

What is with that?

Hello David,
First and foremost, TV and the movies are entertainment oriented. Their use of editing is such, that it often jumps over actual legal requirements as they are deemed boring,repetitive  , or, are not necessary to move the story along, with a time sensitive reality.

The Miranda warning stems from a 1966 Supreme Court decision, that held defendant Ernesto Arturo Miranda was deprived of his Constitutional rights, under the 5th Amendment right against compelled self incrimination, along with the 6th Amendment of right to an attorney.
This was Miranda v. Arizona case.
If you are interested in that issue and related matters, it is wise to research the subject, as the courts have 'tweaked' that decision a number of times, from 1966.
Also, remember that any of the first ten Amendments, are to protect the citizen, not the authority...Bill of Rights...think King George-3.

Also keep in mind two essential considerations...The Miranda warning is when a person is in a custodial situation....i.e., not free to leave. It used to be an abstract as to the person becoming "suspect'' in the officer's mind.
Also, only applys, if the officer asks questions, other than identification...

The TV shows are very limiting. To repeat the same material upon every arrest, or custodial situation when time sensitive, would be a yawner, and waste seconds needed to develop a character, or move the story along.
Remember...the most complicated criminal case is solved in approximately 40 minutes...allowing ample time to still sell dog food.
The most glaring error in such offerings to me, is that all of these shows illustrate officers essentially working ONE case at a time......which is silly, and never happens, ever.

Rest assured...the proper warnings are offered to the suspect.
Hope this is helpful,
Semper Fi,

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Loren Stevens


Retired after 31 years in a large metropolitan PD. Areas of expertise: COVERT OPERATIONS. Management, Administration, Inspections, U/C development, Project design, Ethics, and other related sub topics in COVERT OPERATIONS.


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