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In 1966, the Supreme Court delivered the landmark Miranda v. Arizona decision that created the Miranda warning, which reminds citizens of their rights to remain silent and have an attorney present during custodial interrogations. However, through Schneckloth v. Bustamonte in 1973, the Court decided not to create a mandatory warning that reminds citizens of their right to refuse a consent search. Through these cases and the others discussed, the Court has often argued over whether or not these types of warnings impair police work, whether the contexts surrounding these instances amount to coercion, and whether or not a warning is constitutionally necessary. This paper explores the practicality and voluntariness premises but does not discuss whether or not a consent search warning should be considered constitutionally mandatory. After reviewing the research, consent searches inherently involve some amount of compulsion but are not impractical, as some have claimed. Since research shows that a warning would not influence a significant change in the amount of consent searches or make these situations any more voluntary, any argument for or against a warning should not be based solely on those grounds. Instead, this paper introduces a new aspect: procedural justice. A warning could have an impact in the areas of procedural justice and police legitimacy. Accordingly, police agencies and other police regulatory entities should adopt consent search warning rules in order to increase their own legitimacy and citizens’ perceptions of procedural justice.
Kraus, Alec, "The Consent Search Warning Argument: Procedural Justice and What a Warning Might do for Police Legitimacy" (2016). Honors Theses. 2702.
Honors Thesis-Open Access