Supreme Court Trims Miranda Warning Rights: ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’ Says Defense Attorney

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
By Paul Martin

CBSNews.com

(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) – You have the right to remain silent, but only if you tell the police that you’re remaining silent.

You have a right to a lawyer – before, during and after questioning, even though the police don’t have to tell you exactly when the lawyer can be with you. If you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you, which, by the way, are only good for the next two weeks?

The Supreme Court made major revisions to the now familiar Miranda warnings this year. The rulings will change the ways police, lawyers and criminal suspects interact amid what experts call an attempt to pull back some of the rights that Americans have become used to over recent decades.

The high court has made clear it’s not going to eliminate the requirement that police officers give suspects a Miranda warning, so it is tinkering around the edges, said Jeffrey L. Fisher, co-chair of the amicus committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

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