Early in its Miranda opinion, the Warren Court vents its judicial ire at the interrogation manuals which instruct the police to "persuade, trick, or cajole" suspects out of exercising their constitutional rights. Twenty pages later, the Court returns to this point: "[A]ny evidence that the accused was threatened, tricked, or cajoled into a waiver will, of course, show that the defendant did not voluntarily waive his privilege. The requirement of warnings and waiver of rights is a fundamental . . . and not simply a preliminary ritual to existing methods of interrogation." ...
It is not because a police officer is more dishonest than the rest of us that we should demand an objective recording of the critical events in the station house. Rather, it is because we are entitled to assume that an officer is no less human -- no less inclined to reconstruct and interpret past events in a light most favorable to himself -- that we should not allow him or her to be a judge of his or her own cause.
Unless tape-recording of police interrogations is required, it will be of no great moment whether Miranda is expanded or cut down or reshaped. For absent such a requirement, sweet-talking police interrogators will be able to assail, maim, and all but kill Miranda (or, for that matter, any other confession rule).
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