Should Kids Be Allowed to Waive Their Right to Remain Silent?

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A 10-year old boy waived his Miranda right to remain silent and told police he killed his neo-Nazi father, who'd threatened to burn down the house and kill the family. A majority of the State Supreme Court declined to review the boy's murder conviction, but dissenters questioned whether he was old enough to understand what he was doing when he confessed. Had his young brain developed enough to understand that, before he confessed, he'd waived his Miranda right to remain silent? Should that question be answered on a case-by-case basis as state law now allows, or is it time for new rules that apply to all adolescents suspected of serious crimes?




Warren Olney