The so-called “Miranda Rights” that law enforcers are legally obliged to timely explain to criminal suspects in custody certainly have a critically important purpose. Most essentially, of course, they inform affected individuals of their right to not speak with authorities and to promptly consult with an attorney.
As important as those safeguards are, they are far from being absolute protections in cases where Colorado residents and citizens elsewhere across the country are confined in pressure-packed environments with state or federal officials.
Brain lock is understandable in such circumstances. Fear can easily cloud rational thought and judgment. And how can any person calmly assess what his or her legal rights are under tense and unfamiliar circumstances?
Acting in accord with one’s best interests is a hard endeavor for virtually any adult being read a Miranda warning.
How much more difficult must that be for a child?
That subject matter is squarely addressed in a recent Bloomberg editorial spotlighting the clear challenges posed to juveniles by Miranda warnings. That article argues that inflicting technical and complex language upon a minor in an emotionally charged situation is “a recipe for injustice.”
Indeed, most juveniles don’t seem to comprehend what Miranda is about, nor understand how they should procced in the wake of a Miranda warning. Bloomberg states that only about 10% of juveniles exercise their Miranda rights. Moreover, they spell a demographic that is especially prone to cooperate with investigators and make false confessions.
Given that, it seems clear that Miranda warnings should receive more emphasis in juvenile cases, being delivered in a truly comprehensible way and backed by a child’s automatic right to an attorney in every interrogation.
Colorado residents having any questions or concerns regarding any aspect of a juvenile criminal matter can contact a proven Denver defense attorney.