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Mr. Wynand

Miranda Warnings

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Well, the Miranda warnings are based on the premise that it's not legitimate for law enforcement, in a country which respects individual rights, to obtain confessions or other information by misrepresenting those rights or by taking advantage of people who don't know or understand their rights. It's not really a philosophical issue, it's a legal one. Are people's rights better protected when the police are required to inform them of their rights as part of the arrest procedure or not? Are the POLICE put in a better position when this kind of precaution is taken (their arrests aren't constantly being invalidated because it's been shown that they didn't exercise due process)?

This is a technical matter, not a philosophical one. Philosophy will tell you that people need rights and what they are, but determining the best methodology for protecting rights in specific circumstances requires further study of those circumstances and seeing what the actual results are of different policies. Personally, I think it would likely be shown that the Miranda rights do no harm and potentially some good, particularly among foreigners who may be ignorant of U.S. procedures and have a residual fear of police that they gained in their country of origin.

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What about the old "but government provides you with an attorney if you can't afford one, so why shouldn't government provide you with XYZ if you can't afford that also" mantra?

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