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Abstract

When military servicemembers in North Carolina who are suspected of a crime make inculpatory statements to their military superiors, and are tried in a military tribunal, they are both statutorily and constitutionally protected against the dangers of involuntary self-incrimination resulting from the military's inherently coercive atmosphere. When those same servicemembers make incriminating statements to military superiors who are not commissioned officers and are later tried in a North Carolina Criminal Court, they are left vulnerable by North Carolina's rule that assigns law enforcement equivalency only to commissioned officers with the authority to order servicemembers into arrest or confinement under military regulations.

This Comment, which concludes with a recommendation that North Carolina adopt a rule fashioned after the more effective rule applied by military courts, begins with an overview of the historical evolution of servicemembers' rights against self-incrimination from the early years of the republic to the United States Court of Military Appeals's ruling in United States v. Tempia extending Miranda's protections to servicemembers. This Comment next considers North Carolina's rule in State v. Davis-discussing the majority's reasoning and highlighting deficiencies. Finally, this Comment proposes a new rule that would ensure servicemembers are adequately protected

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