In the wake of countless police dramas, commonly held misperceptions endure that the
American public knows both Miranda warnings and concomitant rights. Past research
has tested public knowledge of Miranda per se, without evaluating additional misconceptions.
The current investigation utilizes the European Union's much more all-encompassing
safeguards, as delineated in the EU's 2012 Directive and Letter of Rights. Besides
knowledge of Miranda, the advisability of these enhanced rights and protections was
also assessed. In order to obtain a cross-section of the community, 619 participants
were recruited from actual jury pools. Interestingly, they believed that Miranda afforded
arrestees many more protections than it actually does. In general, nearly all (>90%)
agreed that the accused should be given accurate information (e.g., charges and alleged
criminal acts) coupled with an absence of police deception. The potential implications
of these findings are discussed as they relate to police practices and due process.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.