Professor Discusses Landmark Court Case on Arlington Campus Today

Posted: March 30, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Darshana Patel

Miranda v. Arizona is easily the most recognized case in the American criminal procedure pantheon. Although Miranda has yet to be toppled, it is teetering on the brink. The threat comes in the unlikely resurrection of statute 18 U.S.C. 3501, enacted by Congress in 1968, which overruled Miranda, says Michael O’ Neill, assistant professor at the School of Law.

“With a few exceptions, Section 3501 has not been enforced until the recent U.S. v. Dickerson case,” says O’Neill. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently dusted off this little-known curiosity of criminal procedure and held that this statute, not Miranda, controls the admissibility of confessions. This decision rocked the criminal bar.”

U.S. v. Dickerson could potentially overturn Miranda v. Arizona. Professor Paul Cassel of the University of Utah will argue the U.S. v. Dickerson case before the Supreme Court on April 19. He presents a lecture about this potentially landmark decision this afternoon in Arlington I, Room 332, from noon to 1 p.m. The session is open to the university community.

The Miranda rights, enacted in 1966, include a warning that anything said by the suspect to the police while being interrogated can be used as evidence. No statements made by an arrested person or evidence obtained from him may be introduced at trial unless the person was advised of or validly waived these rights. To read more about the U.S. v. Dickerson case, see “Miranda Remediated,” an essay by O’Neill.

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