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​​Earl Warren, Ernesto Miranda and Terrorism
By Amos N. Guiora

Table of Content


Chapter One: An Overview: Earl Warren in a Nutshell

Chapter Two: Warren in California: Internment of
Japanese Americans and Point Lobos

Chapter Three: The 1960’s: The Streets are Burning

Chapter Four: The Warren Court’s Criminal Procedure Revolution

Chapter Five: The Essence of Miranda

Chapter Six: The Dissents, Oral Arguments, and Controversy of Miranda

Chapter Seven: Post-Miranda, Terrorism, and Interrogations

Chapter Eight: Five Attacks: Applying Miranda to Terrorism?

Chapter Nine: Final Word

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Earl Warren, Ernesto Miranda and Terrorism
Professor Amos N. Guiora

Earl Warren was a District Attorney, a Governor of California and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. As Governor of California, Warren was tough on crime, a fierce proponent of law and order, and a proponent of Japanese Internment during WWII, a decision he would later describe as wrong. Warren was not a great legal theorist; he was not a brilliant scholar with an impressive track record of influential law review articles or books. Warren was, however, one of the most significant and influential Chief Justices in US Supreme Court history. 

His legacy is forever cemented in a number of momentous decisions. The obvious ones include Brown vs. Board of Education; Mapp vs. Ohio; and Terry vs. Ohio. The importance of these decisions to America and American’s is beyond doubt; their legacy is extraordinary. In Brown, a unanimous decision, the Court ended segregation in public schools; in Mapp the Court ruled that evidence seized in violation of the Federal Constitution is inadmissible in a criminal trial in a state court; in Terry the Court ruled law enforcement has the right to “stop and frisk” even in the absence of probable cause to arrest.

This book is not about any of those decisions; this book is also not a biography of CJ Warren. Rather, this book asks a very specific question: would Earl Warren apply Miranda vs. Arizona to individuals suspected of terrorism. Fully answering this narrow and specific question requires examining what led Warren to the Miranda opinion. What were his motivations in a holding widely assumed to be the pinnacle of the so-called “Warren Court criminal procedure-constitutional revolution?” Why would a Chief Justice whose background was deeply rooted in law enforcement carefully craft a decision whose primary focus was protecting a suspect? How did his experiences as District Attorney, Attorney General and Governor shape his understanding of the imbalance between the interrogated and the interrogator? How did America of the 1960’s influence Warren’s thinking?

Only by answering these questions can we determine whether the iconic phrase—-“you have the right to remain silent”——applies to those intent on attacking innocent Americans in the name of terrorism. To facilitate the reader’s understanding of this dilemma, I talked with lawyers, practitioners, members of law enforcement, prosecutors, and interrogators; in addition, I reviewed original source material including court documents, archival material and historical records. Regardless of whether the reader agrees with my conclusion, wrestling with this question is the essence of balancing legitimate individual rights with equally legitimate public safety concerns. 

While Warren deeply believed in the former, he was deeply schooled in the latter.  That is a powerful tension that demands our attention.

Chapter Web Links

In suppport of chapters, note relevant web links, articles and images below.
Japanese Internment
(Korematzu v. United States)

  • 1944 United States Government Film Defending Japanese Internment

  •  1979 Article by G. Edward White about Earl Warren's Regret and Error over Japanese Internment

  • Japanese American Timeline

Civil Unrest 1960's-1970's, Growing Discontent Reflected Through the  Music

  • Barry McGuire, Eve of Destruction

  • Creedance Clearwater Revivial's Fortunate Son     

  • Eric Burden and the Animals, We Gotta Get Out of This Place

  • Country Joe McDonald, I-feel-like-I'm-fixing- to-die-rag

1965 Watts Riot
  • 1965 Watts Riot and Interview with Marquette Frye

 Miranda v. Arizona

  • Earl Warren's Hand Written Notes Concerning Miranda Decision

  • Conversation with Earl Warren, 1969

  • Video of Great Decisions, Earl Warren, 1970

  • Miranda v. Arizona OYEZ  Oral Argument

  • ​Miranda v. Arizona Briefs

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Archives & Photos

Arizona v. Miranda

​Ernesto Miranda Charged​

Miranda's Confession

Earl Warren's
Handwritten Notes

Earl Warren, Governor to Supreme Court Justice

About the Author
Amos Guiora is Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah. He teaches Criminal Procedure, International Law, Global Perspectives on Counterterrorism and Religion and Terrorism, incorporating innovative scenario-based instruction to address national and international security issues and dilemmas.

Professor Guiora was a Member of the American Bar Association's Law and National Security Advisory Committee from 2010-2014, and is currently a Research Associate at the University of Oxford, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. He is also a Research Fellow at the International Institute on Counter-Terrorism, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzylia, Israel; and a Corresponding Member, The Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, the University of Utrecht School of Law.

Professor Guiora has published extensively both in the U.S. and Europe on issues related to national security, limits of interrogation, religion and terrorism, the limits of power, multiculturalism and human rights. He is the author of several books and book chapters, most recently: In the Crosshairs of Unfettered Executive Power: The Moral Dilemmas of Justifying and Carrying Out Targeted Killings; Targeted killings: Defining and Applying the Limits of Military Ethics; Establishing a Drone Court: Restraints on the Executive Branch; First Amendment and National Security; Global Perspectives on Cybersecurity; and author of the just published  Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust.