Publication Date



39 p. ; This student paper has been awarded 2004-2005 UNM Law School Thesis Honors.


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. The Miranda Rule was created to protect the citizens of America; it was to protect suspects from coercion during custodial interrogations. Miranda was written by economically privileged justices, to be most often applied to poor and under-privileged suspects who are often minorities and many times uneducated people who know next to nothing about the legal system in the United States. 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. As I scrutinize each of these four terms or concepts, I elucidate the misapplication of these ideas by exposing how they play out in cases where the suspects or defendants are Native American. For each of these concepts I attach a federal circuit court case, where each defendant appealed based on the belief that his Miranda rights were violated. In Part III of this paper, I take a deeper look at how language and culture interact and intersect with Miranda. 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.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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