Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Forbes on Disclosed to Death

Forbes Magazine has a nice article arguing that more disclosure isn't necessarily better, pointing out the complexity, the difficulty in making choices, and the legalese. My favorite passage:


One study found that despite the [Miranda] warning the overwhelming majority of suspects (78% to 96%) waive their rights ... "Next to the warning label on cigarette packs, Miranda is the most widely ignored piece of official advice in our society."

1 comment:

Janne said...

I feel the Miranda warning might not be the best anecdote of disclosure warnings, since the fact is that the police interrogators try to persuade people to waive their rights, despite the fact they need to give the warning to people who are arrested.

Interrogators can use number of techniques to persuade the suspects to talk, including deception "it would be better for you if you'd just come clean now", timing and wording the Miranda warning casually, "start with warning, then tell what they know, and ask oh would you like to talk to us?" or just plain sitting around and waiting until the suspects start to talk.

If the police would instead emphasize that nothing good can come out of waiving your rights, and you are going to stay arrested do you speak to us or not or even maybe if the Miranda would be worded "at this point, you must not talk to the police and call a lawyer", maybe the results would be somewhat different. Point being, with Miranda warning, the police are not really disclosing the likely/possible adverse effects of talking.

Entertaining discussion of these techniques that police use are available at e.g. "Don't Talk to the Police" by Officer George Bruch from the Virginia Beach police department:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912

and from the same seminar the legal advice "Don't Talk to the Police" - Professor James Duane of the Regent University School of Law
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865