Maine State Forensic Service Workshop

Evaluating the Validity of Miranda Waivers and the Trustworthiness of Confessions

Alan M. Goldstein, Ph.D., ABPP

June 17, 2016 Camden National Bank Ice Vault 203 Whitten Road, Hallowell, Maine

9:00 am – 4:00 pm(Registration @8:30)

A confession is generally considered to be the most powerful evidence against a defendant. Attorneys, in juvenile and adult cases, may attempt to either have the incriminating statement thrown out entirely at a pre-trial hearing or call an expert during a trial to educate jurors that not all confessions are genuine indicators of guilt. This two-part workshop focuses on issues related to: (a) assessing the likelihood whether a defendant had the capacity to make a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver of Miranda rights at the time of the waiver; and (b) evaluating those factors that may have increased or decreased the likelihood of a false confession.

For each topic, the extensive research on suspect/defendant characteristics associated with difficulties making a valid waiver and associated with providing a false confession will be summarized. Representative court decisions related to Miranda waivers and false confessions and case law focusing on the admissibility of such testimony will be described, aimed at assisting the expert in responding to challenges of admissibility in Frye and Daubert jurisdictions. Common police interrogation methods are described, along with the impact these methods may have on suspects. Ethical issues related to qualifications of the expert, cultural factors, and limits of testimony will be presented along with the methodology and instruments that are available to provide relevant information on these confession-related topics. Case examples are used to highlight the problems an expert encounters in evaluation confession-related psycho-legal issues.

Persons attending this workshop will be able to:

  • Comprehend representative ethical issues and guidelines relevant to conducting confession-related assessments
  • Cite statutes and case law addressing Miranda waivers and false confessions
  • Describe common police interrogation procedures used with suspects designed to encourage a waiver of rights and to obtain confessions
  • Consider the role of culture and the appropriate use of interpreters when conducting these evaluations
  • Employ traditional psychological tests and instruments developed to address capacity to waive Miranda rights
  • Report research focusing on those factors associated with impairments in capacity to waive Miranda rights and the increased likelihood of providing a false confession
  • Prepare for Frye and Daubert challenges to the admissibility of this testimony


Alan M. Goldstein, Ph.D. is Board Certified in Forensic Psychology (ABPP). He is Professor Emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he taught in the forensic psychology MA and doctoral programs. In independent practice in New York, his work focuses on criminal psycho-legal issues, including confession-related topics. Dr. Goldstein served as chair and co-chair of the AAFP’s Continuing Education Program and chaired APA’s Continuing Professional Education Committee. He is a past-president of ABFP and was a member of the ABPP Board of Directors. He received ABFP’s Distinguished Service Award and their Distinguished Contribution Award to Forensic Psychology, the Beth Clark Award for Distinguished Service from AAFP, and the Distinguished Contribution and Service Award from ABPP. Dr. Goldstein is editor or co-author of a number of texts, including Foundations of Forensic Mental Health Assessment (2009 - with Kirk Heilbrun and Tom Grisso) and Evaluating Capacity to Waive Miranda Rights (2010 – with Naomi Goldstein). A new book, Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology, co-authored with Randy Otto and Kirk Heilbrun is now in press. He has published numerous chapters and has presented nationally and internationally on forensic assessment, including juvenile and adult Miranda waivers and false confessions.

Cost: $125(lunch on your own – we will have coffee)

Continuing Education Credit

(includes 1 hour of Ethics)

6.0 hours for psychologists (CEU category I by Board of Examiners of Psychologists of the

State of Maine)

6.0 hours for physicians (CME approval under the auspices of Riverview Psychiatric Center’ Continuing

Education Program)

5.5 hours CLE for attorneys (offered through the Maine Overseers of the Bar)

Dr. Goldstein is one of the most well-respected presenters in forensic psychology. We are very fortunate that he is willing to come to Maine again – so don’t wait until the last minute to sign up!

Mail the bottom portion (with your check for $125) to the State Forensic Service

Registration Form(one (1) form per individual registrant, please)

Evaluating the Validity of Miranda Waivers and the Trustworthiness of Confessions

Alan M. Goldstein, Ph.D., ABPP

June 17, 2016 Camden National Bank Ice Vault 203 Whitten Road, Hallowell, Maine

9:00 am – 4:00 pm (Registration at 8:30)


Print Name and Degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., etc)e-mail

Make checks payable to):Treasurer, State of Maine (please ID registrants on check for multiple registrants)

Mail to: State Forensic Service – 11 SHS – Augusta, ME 04333-0011

FMI – Call 624-4648

Registration is not refundable after May 17, 2016

Important reminder: Partial credit is not available. You need to stay for the whole workshop to get credit.