Miranda abilities in individuals with intellectual disability

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University of Alabama Libraries

In 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recognized a possibility that the process of arrest, as well as subsequent custodial interrogation, rendered individuals at risk for a violation of their 5th Amendment right to silence and their 6th Amendment right to counsel (Miranda v. Arizona, 1966). In their landmark decision, the SCOTUS mandated that, at the time of arrest, all citizens must be informed of their rights; now referred to as Miranda rights. However, hearing one’s Miranda rights and understanding these rights are two very separate concepts. Individuals with intellectual disabilities have several characteristics that put them at risk for waiving their rights without understanding the associated consequences. The aim of the current study was to determine Miranda abilities related to recall, vocabulary comprehension, and acquiescent tendencies in a sample in individuals with intellectual disability. An additional aim was to determine as the utility of predicting these Miranda abilities using intellectual composites. Participants completed an intellectual assessment, as well as tasks and measures related to their Miranda abilities. Participants demonstrated poor recall of Miranda rights; however, their recall ability improved significantly immediately after exposure to Miranda rights. Verbal abilities most strongly predicted performance on Miranda recall and vocabulary measures. Intellectual abilities were not predictive of acquiescent tendencies.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Clinical psychology, Disability studies