ERIC Number: ED226577
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
"You Have the Right to Remain Silent." Two Case Studies in Forensic Linguistics Involving Spanish Speaking Suspects.
Two case studies involving possible violations of the rights of Spanish speaking criminal suspects are presented. In cases where suspects do not understand English, the Miranda warnings regarding the right to remain silent must be delivered in their native language and in a way that is understandable to the suspects. In the two cases involving Spanish speaking murder suspects who confessed to the murders after receiving the warnings, it is doubtful whether they fully understood the implications of waiving their right to remain silent. An analysis of the recordings of the interrogations reveals that in each case the interrogator spoke a different dialect of Spanish than the suspect or had an insufficient command of Spanish for meaningful communication to have taken place. It is shown that the language used in the warnings was ambiguous to the suspects. Coming from a different culture, it may be difficult for suspects to understand the law's protection of their rights or the fact that they are under no compulsion to speak to the interrogator. Transcripts of the interrogations are appended. (RW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Miranda Warning
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Language Problems and Public Policy (Cancun, Mexico, December 16-19, 1981).