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Differences in the Prongs of the Miranda Warnings

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 19 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2006 Pages: 77-84
Jeffrey L. Helms; Candace L. Holloway
Date Published
March 2006
8 pages
This study explored the relative difficulty in understanding the four separate phrases included in the Miranda warnings.
Results indicated that the warning about the right of indigent defendants to a court-appointed attorney was the most difficult Miranda warning to understand. Other results revealed that the right to remain silent warning was significantly more difficult to understand than the warning that anything said could potentially be used against the person in court or the warning about the right to the presence of an attorney. These findings support the results of previous research and underscore the importance of making sure individuals fully understand their rights so they can make competent and intelligent decisions. Participants were 958 students from 2 large southern universities who completed a questionnaire that included the Comprehension of Miranda Rights-Recognition (CMR-R), an instrument developed by Grisso (1981) to assess Miranda comprehension in a way that required little or no verbalization by the examinee. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted to assess participant understanding of the four separate warnings. Tables, references