Interrogation Policies

Brandon L. Garrett *

In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court discussed at length actual police policies, manuals, and training on interrogations to explain the need for the well-known warnings the Court required to precede custodial interrogations. The Court noted: “A valuable source of information about present police practices . . . may be found in various police manuals and texts which document procedures employed with success in the past, and which recommend various other effective tactics.” The Court cited to studies of police practices, and focused on the Fred E. Inbau and John E. Reid manual on interrogations, first published in 1962, and still the authoritative treatise. The Court described “tactics . . . designed to put the subject in a psychological state where his story is but an elaboration of what the police purport to know already—that he is guilty.” Those tactics ranged from “Mutt and Jeff” routines to outright deception and trickery.

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The Future of the Death Penalty in the United States

Richard C. Dieter *

Making predictions about the future is always a risky venture. There are, however, concrete reasons to believe that the story of the death penalty in the United States may be approaching its final chapter. In this essay I will identify strong trends that support this prognosis. I will also underscore the inherent problems with the death penalty that have placed it on a collision course with some of our country’s most cherished ideals. These conflicts will likely hasten the demise of the death penalty.

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Temporal Arbitrariness: A Back to the Future Look at a Twenty-Five-Year-Old Death Penalty Trial

Mary Kelly Tate *

This symposium essay is a thought experiment—a “back to the future” re-imagining of the capital murder trial of Tommy David Strickler, an indigent man deemed borderline mentally retarded. In 1990, Strickler was convicted and sentenced to death for the robbery, abduction, and murder of a young African American woman. On July 21, 1999, Strickler became the sixty-eighth person executed in Virginia in the death penalty’s modern era.

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Making Sure We Are Getting It Right: Repairing “The Machinery of Death” by Narrowing Capital Eligibility

Ann E. Reid *

Can we fix the American capital punishment system? Do we want to? Or should we simply abolish the death penalty altogether, as so many countries encourage us to do? These were questions that many Americans asked themselves over the course of 2014 as botched execution followed botched execution, and as multiple innocent men were exonerated after sitting on death row for years. Despite the best efforts of the members of the federal and state departments of justice, we continue to face serious constitutional questions when we look at death penalty-related issues, including the estimated rate of false convictions, the disproportionately high exoneration rate for death penalty inmates, racial, social, and geographical disparities in capital conviction rates, and the complicated and messy process of execution itself.

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The Twilight Zone: Perspectives From a Man on Death Row

Interview with Gerald Dean Cruz *

The following interview was conducted through a series of written correspondences between Gerald Dean Cruz and Leah Stiegler, the Allen Chair Editor for Volume 49 of the University of Richmond Law Review. This exchange was reproduced, in excerpts, for the sole purpose of giving readers a rare glimpse into the perspective of a death row inmate. The views expressed below do not reflect those of the University of Richmond Law Review or its editors. Please note some answers were heavily redacted at the discretion of the Law Review.

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