Dr. Thomas Grisso's Understanding and Appreciating Miranda Rights

Written By: Reid
Jun 01, 2016
In Middleton v. State (Jan 2016) Dr. James Barnard testified for the defense. He prepared two reports, one was a psychological evaluation and the other examined Middleton's competency to waive his Miranda rights.

Dr. Barnard administered an instrument entitled “Dr. Thomas Grisso's Understanding and Appreciating Miranda Rights.” Dr. Barnard testified that Middleton's total score was 13 out of 30, more than two standard deviations below the mean. He testified that, although Middleton could paraphrase portions of Miranda, he “showed a very significant weakness in terms of his ability to intelligently apply knowledge of Miranda, to novel situations.” Dr. Barnard stated that it was difficult to reconcile his findings during the testing with what he saw on the confession video. He explained that there is no correlation between having had Miranda warnings administered in the past and actually understanding them. He also stated that there are no validity scales for Grisso’s Miranda test.