Professor Kamisar’s greatest impact on the court was in 1966, in its decision in Miranda.
Last year, he published a lengthy essay in which he compared the American legal system to a house and a mansion – the house being the police interrogation room and the mansion the courtroom.
“The courtroom is a splendid place, where defense lawyers and prosecuting attorneys are besieged at many corners,” he wrote. “But what will happen before a defendant reaches safety and enjoys the comfort of this real mansion? Oh, there’s a scrub. Typically, he must first pass through a much less ostentatious mansion, a police station with empty rooms and locked doors. ”
Courts have introduced broad protections, rooted in the Fifth Amendment, including the right to resist self-incrimination. But no such protection exists in a police station, where interrogators can force a suspect to confess.
Professor Kamisar argues that no justice system can last long if it relies on the coercive flow of information from the accused. The court agreed. In a decision written by Chief Justice Warren and citing the work of Professor Kamisar, it ruled in 1966 that guilty defendants must be informed of their rights before being questioned, in particular is the right to remain silent and to obtain legal advice.
That same year, Time magazine wrote that “at the age of 37, Kamisar produced an endless stream of speeches and writings that made him easily the most overwhelming criminal law scholar in the United States.” Others call him “Miranda’s father.”
With Supreme Court talent, Professor Kamisar has spent the rest of his career building on his chosen field – he co-wrote its flagship case book, “Modern Criminal Procedure.” (Professor Kerr later became a co-author) – and defended Miranda’s verdict from conservatives pushing back.
Professor Kamisar’s concern for vulnerable people, and his worries about the reach of government power, have prompted another area of his interest: assisted suicide and death . If his stance on the rights of the accused earns him the admiration of civil libertarians, many of them are also puzzled by his opposition to the laws that are above the law. to them, seeming to value an equally important right to one’s own death.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/us/yale-kamisar-dead.html Yale Kamisar, known as the ‘Father’ of the Miranda Rule, dies aged 92