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Advanced Introduction to U.S. Criminal Procedure

Christopher Slobogin

In this Advanced Introduction, Christopher Slobogin covers every significant aspect of U.S. criminal procedure. Focusing on Supreme Court cases and the most important statutory rules that provide the framework for the criminal justice system, he illuminates the nuances of American criminal procedure doctrine and offers factual examples of how it is applied. Chapters cover police practices such as search and seizure, interrogation, and identification procedures, as well as the pretrial, trial and post-conviction process.
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Interrogation and entrapment

Christopher Slobogin


Virtually every serious criminal case involves a seizure of a person, and most involve searches. In contrast, confessions resulting from interrogation—police questioning of suspects—are probably crucial in no more than 20 percent of criminal cases.1 Nonetheless, in a significant minority of investigations, confessions are very important, either because they help solve the confessor’s case or because they help clear other cases.

The principal constitutional provision governing interrogation is the Fifth Amendment, which states in pertinent part that “[n]o person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” That clause forms the basis for the Supreme Court’s famous decision in Miranda v. Arizona,2 requiring warnings about the right to silence and the right to counsel during interrogation of people who have been arrested. Interrogations are also regulated by the Sixth Amendment, which provides that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to … have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” This language has been construed to provide a basis for legal assistance separate from the Fifth Amendment, but one that is triggered only after formal criminal proceedings have begun, which is usually not until a day or two after arrest. Finally, the Due Process Clause in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments also places some limitations on interrogation, in particular when it is directed at someone who is not in custody or subject to criminal prosecution.

By far the dominant source of law regulating interrogation,...

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