If Cicero was right and gratitude is the mother of all virtues, then this fully warned confession of appreciation will surely pave my path with rose petals.

This book is about the instinct to confess tempered by the knowledge that you have the right to remain silent. I am deeply grateful for the unwarned admissions of hundreds of people not named in the book but whose thoughts and anecdotes are secreted in every chapter. There is no way to prioritize the generosity of my friends and colleagues or to apologize to those whose names are lost in my research files. That said I will start at the beginning.

The late John P. Frank was the first to encourage the writing of this book. His passing three years later was felt by thousands. My most fervent wish was to see him with this book in his generous hands. He was central to the decision itself, the debate surrounding it, and many of the books it spawned. This one would not have been written without his personal approval; his generous contributions of time, energy, and perspective; and his never-fading encouragement along the way. In many ways, this was John’s book to write but he insisted that I could do it in a way he could not. I can only hope he was right.

A great many judges, lawyers, cops, citizens, and suspects gave great color to the big picture and shaded the gray-on-gray world of procedural rights and constitutional litigation. If the book seems authentic and grounded it is because they were insistent that it be so. They curbed my impatience, demanded forbearance, shared their insight, and warned of quicksand and bottomless quagmires of inconsistency. Thanks to Chuck Ares, Peter Baird, Paul Bender, Craig Blakey, Tom Brooks, Carroll Cooley, Bob Corcoran, John Dowd, Paul Fish, Craig Futterman, Joe Howe, Bob Jensen, Chris Johns, Mike Kimerer, Barry Kroll, Jon Kyl, Fred Martone, Tom Mauet, Craig Mehrens, Jim Moeller, Gary Nelson, Ron Quaife, Chuck Roush, Mary Schroeder, Mara Siegel, Barry Silverman, Bob Storrs, Tom Thinnes, Dick Treon, Larry Turoff, Paul Ulrich, and Warren Wolfson.

I am especially grateful to Craig Mehrens for his patience as he labored to give me a soupçon of the subtlety inherent in the life of a criminal defense specialist.

Writers, editors, scriveners, and criticasters worked feverishly with me, and often on me, to make this a good read, to instill plausibility, and to explain the disingenuous. They include Marianne Alcorn, Craig Blakey, Tom Davison, Paul Fish, Dave Knopp, Katie Kallsted, Mary Rodarte, Al Schroeder, Dean Smith, Kathleen Stuart, and Susan Turngate. They helped me find my voice, overlooked my grammar, searched for active verbs, and deep-sixed many an inapt metaphor.

Three very talented people read every line and every page many times. They are the quid pro quo of the writing itself. Without Kathleen Gilbert’s polished eye over every line and word, this manuscript would likely not have passed academic muster. Without Dan Thrapp’s experienced and penetrating look at structure, form, content, style, and pace, this manuscript would read like your run-of-the-court appellate opinion. Special gratitude must go to Christine Szuter. Without her encouragement, even before the first word of text came into being, this book would have remained a fantasy

Interviewing, researching, writing, editing and rewriting the book seemed complete with the official release of the book in October of 2004.  But it was not complete.  There remained the large task of telling the story in context and finding the book’s intended audience.  This could not have been done with the help of Kathryn Conrad, Kristen Hagenbuckle, Jennifer Pinkerton, Peter Handel, Kathy Hawkes-Smith, and Christine Wilkerson and a truly world class law firm, Lewis and Roca, LLP. 

The Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent, in its analog form, needs a virtual reality as well.  This web site is the product of long hours and special insight into graphical display of the story on the Internet.  The credit for the “fit and feel” of this website goes to the multi-talented Mary Garcia.  

While I have made every effort to accurately state both fact and law, this book is nevertheless laced with opinions about Miranda’s legal and social underpinnings and its cultural and political legacy. Except as specifically noted, the opinions and attitudes are entirely mine. Some readers might be puzzled as to what qualifications a civil trial lawyer has to write a book dealing with constitutional litigation and America’s love-hate relationship with the Fifth Amendment and its expansive interpretation by the Warren Court. The answer lies in remembering the comic who wanted to play Hamlet. A great many lawyers are frustrated writers; as far as I know, I am the only writer who is a frustrated constitutional litigator.

To close on my opening note, without John Frank’s good humor and eternal optimism about the project, I might still be researching and exercising my right to remain silent. 


Miranda: The Story of America's Right to Remain Silent
Copyright © 2004, Gary L. Stuart. All rights reserved.
Available at Alibris,, Barnes and Noble, and your local bookseller
page last revised: 10/25/04