U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Deaf Adults and the Comprehension of Miranda

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Volume: 10 Issue: 2 Dated: March - April 2010 Pages: 107-132
Boley Seaborn, Ed.D.; Jean F. Andrews, Ph.D.; Gabriel Martin, Ed.D.
Date Published
April 2010
26 pages
This study examined the ability of deaf adults to comprehend and understand the Miranda warning.
The Miranda Warning and Waiver ASL (MWWT-ASL) is a bilingual test constructed and administered to three groups of deaf adults in postsecondary education (n = 34) who differed on bilingual (ASL/English) proficiency, IQ, and number of years using sign language. The deaf adults read the MWW in English print and viewed it on a DVD as the Miranda was translated into ASL by a certified legal interpreter. Participants' retelling tasks were videotaped. The videotapes were then transcribed and back-translated into English, compared to the Miranda rights in English, and scored on a five-point scale (0-4). Age, IQ, reported years of using sign language, and English-reading grade level were found to be strongly and positively correlated to retelling scores on the MWWT-ASL. Further, findings revealed that deaf adults who are reading at the eighth-grade level or below would be linguistically incompetent to understand the Miranda warning and waiver even if it is presented in both ASL and English. Tables and references (Published Abstract)