Barry Feld's talk

Although the Supreme Court repeatedly cautioned that youthfulness adversely affects juveniles’ ability to exercise Miranda rights or make voluntary statements, it endorsed the adult waiver standard – “knowing, intelligent, and voluntary” – to gauge juveniles’ Miranda waivers. By contrast, developmental psychologists question whether young people understand or possess the competence necessary to exercise Miranda rights. The talk draws on analyses of more than three hundred interrogations of sixteen- and seventeen-year old youths charged with felony offenses. It reports how police secure Miranda waivers, the tactics they use to elicit information, and the evidence youths provide. The findings bear on three policy issues – procedural safeguards for youths, time limits for interrogations, and mandatory recording of interrogations.