Identifying and (Re)formulating Prophylactic Rules, Safe Harbors, and Incidental Rights in Constitutional Criminal Procedure

By Susan R. Klein / Michigan Law Review, on 1 January 2001

The Miranda conundrum runs something like this: If the Miranda decision represents true constitutional interpretation, and all unwarned statements taken during custodial interrogation are compelled” within the meaning of the self-incrimination clause, the impeachment and “”fruits”” exceptions to Miranda should fall. If it is not true constitutional interpretation, than the Court has no business reversing state criminal convictions for its violation. I offer here what I hope is a satisfying answer to this conundrum, on both descriptive and normative levels, that justifies not only Miranda but a host of similar Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Court decisions as well. In Part I, I introduce and define the terms “”constitutional prophylactic rule,”” “”constitutional safe harbor rule,”” and “”constitutional incidental right,”” and attempt to legitimate their use. I further demonstrate that constitutional criminal procedure is so flush with such prophylactic and safe harbor rules and incidental rights that trying to eliminate them now, by either reversing a large number of criminal procedure cases or “”constitutionalizing”” all of those holdings, would do more harm than good. I propose that we accept the fact that these rules and rights are a fixed part of our constitutional landscape, and focus instead on minimizing their risks and maximizing their benefits”

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Fair Trial,