The Miranda Law
January 6, 2011
On March 13, 1963, in Phoenix, Arizona, Ernesto Miranda, a man with a past criminal record, was arrested at Arizona in his home. Ernesto Miranda was arrested and brought into custody by the police and brought to the Phoenix police station. He was suspected and then later identified as the person who stole $8.00 from a Phoenix, Arizona bank worker. Ernesto Miranda was questioned for two hours by police, then confessed to the robbery, unexpectedly he also confessed to kidnapping and raping an 18 year old girl 11 days earlier. He had signed the two written confessions. During the arrest and questioning, Miranda was never told he had the right to remain silent, to have a lawyer, and to be protected against self-incrimination.
On June 19, 1963, Miranda was trialed in court for the robbery charges from Barbara Roe, the women who accused him of the robbery. His lawyer, Alvin Moore, argued that Miranda was mentally ill, hoping to gain his client freedom. Two doctors examined Miranda and conclude that he was not mentally ill. They said, “Miranda was aware of the nature and quality of his acts and he was aware that what he did was wrong.” Miranda’s mentally ill claim was dropped. During the trial on June 19th, Carroll Cooley, the officer who questioned Miranda had admitted that he did not tell Miranda that he was allowed an attorney at the time, and that anything he said could be used against him in court. Alvin Moore believed the confession’s of Miranda were not voluntary and that the confessions should be dismissed. The judge disagreed, and found Miranda guilty on the robbery charges. They next day, on June 20,1963, was Miranda’s kidnapping and rape trail. Once again Alvin Moore asked for the confessions to be dismissed as evidence because it was a violation of Miranda’s constitutional rights, to be questioned without the knowledge of being granted an attorney and for him to know his rights. The judge told the jury that they could decide if the confessions were voluntary or not, because of the signed confession they decided it was. Based largely on his confessions during the police questioning, Miranda was sentenced to twenty to thirty years in jail. In August 1963, Moore went for an appeal. He felt the decision was unfair and did not follow the proper rules of the law and constitution. He believed Miranda’s constitutional rights were denied. He filed an appeal with the appellate court, the Arizona Supreme court. The supreme court or appellate court is there to search for any discrepancies in the trail that many have violated the proper procedures, they do not look at the criminal case itself. If the appellate court found that Miranda’s confession was involuntary then the conviction would be overturned. The Arizona Supreme Court, upheld the first decision of the criminal court where Miranda remained behind bars. At the same time, in Washington D.C. supreme court, there was a pending case of Danny Escobedo, one similar to that of the case of Miranda’s, which would influence Miranda’s case. Escobedo was accused of murdering his brother in law. Police brought him in for questioning, when Escobedo asked for a lawyer he was denied by the officer. After hours of questioning, Escobedo finally admitted in the plotting of the murder, he did not pull the trigger though. Escobedo was convicted of murder. Escobedo’s lawyer argued that his confession was not voluntary and he was denied a lawyer. Just six weeks before, the Supreme Courts had decided Massiah V. United States, another similar case, in which the courts ruled for the first time, that the Sixth Amendment right gave the defendant the right to a “counsel” once the individual has been charge. This decision was used in Escobedo’s trial where his conviction was reversed because his confession was dismissed. The decision made in the Escobedo V. Illinois (1964) , one year after the Miranda’s trial in the Arizona...
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