Readability: Miranda warnings
Here are the paraphrased conclusions of a study of Miranda-warning texts used in the counties of Alabama:
- the readability of the warnings varied greatly from county to county
- a few of the warnings were very difficult to read (one was at grade level 15)
- many of the warnings were not as readable as they probably should be
- on average, versions of the warning written for juveniles were less readable
The authors of this study speculate that in trying to rewrite the Miranda warning for juveniles, the writers, who, I assume, were not trained in plain English, introduced wordiness and complexity into the original text.
Rachel Kahn, Patricia A. Zapf, & Virginia G. Cooper, Readability of Miranda Warnings and Waivers: Implications For Evaluating Miranda Comprehension, 30 L. & Psychol. Rev. 119 (2006)