The sound and fury of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions announced in the 2022 term obscured Vega v. Tekoh, in which the Court held that a violation of the Miranda rights warning and waiver requirements does not provide a basis for claiming a denial of rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. While Tekoh’s rejection of Miranda protections for § 1983 claims may ultimately prove to be significant, of far greater potential import is the Court’s rationale in support of its holding, which was premised on its assessment of the inadequacy of deterrent benefits that would be obtained by allowing such claims.The Court’s reasoning in Tekoh may signal a future willingness to harmonize its approach to the Fourth Amendment29 exclusionary rule and the Miranda exclusionary rule, so that going forward both rules decisively rest upon a more closely related, if not nearly identical, deterrence-based rationale. This article explores the possibility that the Court ultimately may adopt a more unified approach to the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence predicated upon these two different bases and the ramifications of such an approach. Part II of this article traces the historical development of the Miranda exclusionary rule from its dramatic beginning to its current diminished status. Part III describes a similar transformation of Court’s Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule, with special attention on the Roberts Court’s 2009 decision in Herring v. United States. Next, Part IV reviews Vega v. Tekoh, and its unapologetic reliance on a deterrence-based rationale for the Miranda exclusionary rule. With all the foregoing as prelude, Part V considers the future basis and reach of the Miranda exclusionary rule, and the possibility that it might be treated more in conformity with Fourth Amendment exclusion. Finally, in Part VI, this article concludes that, with Vega v. Tekoh, as well as other recent decisions, the Court has laid substantial groundwork for adopting a more harmonious approach for Fourth Amendment and Miranda exclusion, and it identifies some of the consequences of a more unified approach.
Eugene R. Milhizer,
Exclusionary Rules and Deterrence After Vega v. Tekoh: The Trend Toward a More Consistent Approach Across the Fourth and Fifth Amendments,
101 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol101/iss4/2