So, if you were a psychologist hired by the state to determine whether a fourteen year old with a history of special ed and emotional disturbance had the capacity to waive his Miranda rights before he made a self-incriminating ststement, which of the following sources of information would you consider in making your evaluation:

a) the results of cognitive ability tests that you conducted yourself
b) the results of cognitive ability tests given by a licensed professional during the context of an IEP meeting one year ago
c) interviews with the child during which you ask open-ended questions about the night of the questioning to see what the child understood
d) an interview with the same detective who took the statement, who thinks that “yeah, the kid knew what he was doing when he waived Miranda.”

If you answered “d,” congratulations! You’ve been hired by the county juvenile clinic!

I’m sorry, but isn’t this a little redundant? Doesn’t the detective who conducted the interview have to, by definition, believe that the kid could waive Miranda? Because it would be supremely odd if he’d continued the interview if he didn’t think the kid had the capacity to waive Miranda. But hey, if he’s the easiest guy to get on the phone, and it means you don’t have to do any tests for yourself- go for it!

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