CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Motala on Terrorism and Miranda's Public Safety Exception

Tasnim Motala (Howard University School of Law) has posted Circumventing Miranda: The Public Safety Exception in the War on Terror (5 VA. J. CRIM. L. 100 (2017)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Since September 11, 2001, law enforcement has increasingly invoked the public safety exception to delay Mirandizing terror suspects, oftentimes for days on end. The use of the public safety exception in these circumstances runs amok of Chief Justice Earl Warren's concerns articulated in Miranda v. Arizona. In Miranda, Chief Justice Warren intended to curb the coercive nature of law enforcement interrogations, in the hopes of preventing law enforcement from taking advantage of of suspects' ignorance and fear. Today, law enforcement routinely and wrongly invokes the public safety exception to interrogate terror suspects virtually incommunicado and outside the protections enjoined in Chief Justice Warren's opinion. This practice is at odds with the public safety exception and with the true meaning of Miranda v. Arizona.

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