Miranda should be upheld, though it does have flaws

The U.S. Supreme Court is now hearing arguments contending the validity of Miranda v. Arizona, the 1966 court case that established police procedures toward suspects, and created the familiar phrase used by television and movie police. The Miranda decision has indeed become a fundamental tenet of American justice and a necessary one, as well. It would be unwise to overturn Miranda, although criticisms of its effects can be addressed. The law can be adjusted to allow some confessions to be admissible, although all suspects must still be properly Mirandized.
The challenge to Miranda comes from a law Congress signed two years after the original decision that claims that Miranda was a recommendation. However, this statute was later considered to be invalid. Section 3501, which effectively states that a confession, if voluntarily given, can be admitted into court, even if a suspect was not informed of his or her Miranda rights. In the original Miranda case, the Supreme Court ruled that Ernesto Miranda’s original confession — which led to his eventual conviction — was admitted although he was denied his constitutional right against self-incrimination, as well as counsel. The Warren Court decided that when the police arrest a suspect, each suspect must be informed of his or her rights to remain silent, to counsel and that prosecutors could use any incriminating statements. The question that faces the Supreme Court now is that if the Warren Court’s judgment was an actual constitutional interpretation — which it was, and that Congress cannot overturn — or if it was simply a court-ordered recommendation.
If it is decided that Miranda was an interpretation of the Constitution, clearly Section 3501 is not valid. However, if the court mistakenly says that Miranda was a recommendation by the Warren Court, there is no reason Miranda and Section 3501 cannot occasionally coexist. Police should still inform suspects of their constitutional right against self-incrimination — a right many suspects are only made aware of by being Mirandized.
To address the major criticism of Miranda — that suspects will later deny guilt after being informed of their rights — the court should still allow suspects’ admissions that were stated before they were Mirandized, but only with suspects’ approval. While many suspects will obviously withhold approval for a pre-Miranda admission — and this might often occur — the increase in suspects admitting culpability for crimes should increase enough to offset the occasions where suspects would have previously had there confessions dismissed.
Miranda has clearly been established as being a constitutional interpretation, which Congress cannot overturn, as Section 3501 was later considered to be invalid. The Supreme Court should uphold Miranda stating that it is a constitutional interpretation, but realize that it doesn’t operate entirely without flaws. Although Section 3501 is invalid, some of its criticisms were not. Miranda can be slightly altered to accommodate spontaneous admissions — that are not coerced — without compromising constitutional rights.