DeClue, G. (2007). Oral Miranda Warnings: A Checklist and a Model Presentation. Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 35, 421-441.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court requires that police advise suspects of their Constitutional rights prior to custodial interrogation, the Court has not delineated a specific format for presentation of those rights (Miranda, 1966). To use any subsequent statement, the state must show that the suspect waived his Miranda rights, and that the waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. Gradually, more police interrogators are electronically recording the entire interrogation, including the Miranda warning. That creates the opportunity for a police interrogator to elicit verbal responses from a suspect that show whether and to what extent the suspect understands the Miranda warnings and makes a knowing and intelligent waiver of them.

Did the suspect show that he or she understood the Miranda warnings? Did the suspect give a knowing and intelligent waiver? This article presents a new checklist designed to help answer those questions.

How can a police officer create a record that clearly shows whether a suspect understands and knowingly waives Miranda warnings? This article presents a new model oral Miranda warning that encourages suspects to show that they understand their rights. This presentation uses clear and unambiguous language that should be understandable at a second-grade level. The presentation is designed to elicit responses showing how well the suspect understands each right. The presentation addresses important issues often left off of written forms: clear statements that there is no penalty for exercising one’s rights, and clear descriptions of exactly how to decline or terminate questioning should the subject so choose.

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