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Constitution Project Troubled by Recent Proposals to Weaken Miranda Requirements

Attorney General Holder says administration may seek new legislation

WASHINGTON - The Constitution Project is troubled by proposals, including a
suggestion by Attorney General Eric Holder, for legislation to allow law
enforcement officials to interrogate terrorism suspects without
notifying them of their legal rights under the Constitution. The
attorney general, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday, said
interrogators need greater flexibility in notifying suspects of their
rights to remain silent and to an attorney, established in the Supreme
Court's landmark case Miranda v. Arizona.  

The following
can be attributed to Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution


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"Any exception to Miranda based on the type of
offender or type of offense is unnecessary and dangerous. An exception
to the Miranda requirement already exists, allowing for
immediate interrogation to protect the public safety, and by all
accounts, it appears to be working. With this exception already in
place, there has been no demonstration of a legitimate need to further
loosen the Miranda requirements.  

"Some recent proposals
would give law enforcement officials greater latitude to hold suspects
within the criminal justice system and interrogate them for longer
periods of time without advising them of their rights. Law enforcement
officials have long supported the Miranda requirements and
without a demonstrated need, the implications are simply too drastic for
Congress to pursue such legislation. Cutting back on Miranda
risks an erosion of the constitutional rights of all Americans."


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The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at

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