Publication Date



40 p. ; This student paper has been awarded the 2006 Raymond W. Schowers Prize.


In this paper, I posit that the Miranda ruling from the infamous case Miranda v. Arizona, when poorly applied, results in profound and blatant Eracism. I will begin Part I by stepping back in history to look at the evolution of Miranda and the cases that followed. Next, I take a look at the 2000 Census data and address the relatively current minority population percentages. Then, in Part II, I dissect Miranda, revealing what "custody" and "interrogation", the "right to an attorney" and "valid waiver" mean according to the Supreme Court. In Part III of this paper, I take a deeper look at how language and culture interact and intersect with Miranda. Language and culture have profound impact on the outcome of Miranda cases. In Part IV, I move on to discuss solutions to the problems resulting under Miranda and what some jurisdictions in the United States are doing to remedy these problems. I explore legal and educational options and solutions. I propose that attorneys and judges, police officers and FBI agents need to be educated on the critical relationship between cultural heritage/ understanding/ interpretation and the outcome of Miranda cases. I insist that interrogations be videotaped and that attorneys be \'on call" and available so that an attorney is present for every interrogation. I suggest that the right to a licensed interpreter be added to the Miranda language. I conclude with a plea for education on Constitutional rights, for a strong movement of Native American Critical Race Theorists and more cultural studies and cultural competency training.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper

Included in

Law Commons



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