This week, Paul Cassell, a conservative law professor from the University of Utah, asked the Supreme Court to overturn its most famous criminal- procedure decision, Miranda v. Arizona. But, while the campaign against Miranda comes from the right, the most powerful criticisms of the decision come from the left. It has long been obvious that the system Miranda enshrined protects the most sophisticated suspects, who need it least, and does little to stop police from using psychological pressure, lies, and trickery to elicit confessions from less sophisticated suspects.
Your legal correspondent has been doing his part to keep this magazine 100 percent O.J.-free. My resolution to miss each moment of the trial of the century began out of indolence and has now blossomed into a ripe affectation. The truth is that I've always had an aversion to celebrity trials: the soap operatic narratives spun out to arouse the passions of jurors leave me alternately indifferent and uncomfortable; and the messy particularity of actual human experience tends to obscure the abstract legal principles that make my heart race.