John Oliver Rewrites Miranda Warning and Makes Dennis Quaid, TV Cops Read It

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This Sunday on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained the plight of exceptionally overworked public defenders — and the people they represent who end up taking a guilty plea at least 90 percent of the time just so they can go back home to see their families, even if they did nothing wrong. Oliver thought that potential defendants weren’t being accurately warned for what might happen in their case with the Miranda Warning as currently written: “You have the right to remain silent when questioned … If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning.”

So he rewrote them, and then tasked the people you have seen saying the Miranda Warning more than anyone else with debuting it — TV cops. Dennis Quaid, Sonja Sohn (Kima Greggs from The Wire), Regina King, and Josh Lucas — plus many other familiar faces from Law & Order and its many brethren —  read a new, much longer, and more honest Miranda Warning in which cops remind those being arrested that their overworked public defender may only have seven minutes to prepare a case — which is 37 seconds longer than Billy Joel’s “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.”