Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Zoe Overbeck


In Fare v. Michael C. and Yarborough v. Alvarado, the Supreme Court affirmed the use of adult standards in determining whether a juvenile is under custodial interrogation and whether the juvenile has "knowingly and intelligently" waived her Miranda rights. Due to differences in juvenile cognition, young people's limited comprehension of the words and substance of the Miranda rights, and their vulnerability to police interrogation techniques, I argue in this note that states should go beyond the baseline established by the Supreme Court, as some have already, to offer juvenile suspects increased protection during a custodial interrogation. This note examines the development of Supreme Court jurisprudence surrounding juvenile confessions and contrasts the approaches taken in various states to the application of Miranda to juvenile defendants. In framing my argument for the increased protection of juvenile defendants during an interrogation, this note draws on psychological studies evaluating juveniles' comprehension of the Miranda warnings and their unique susceptibility to police interrogation techniques.