Miranda V Arizona Case Brief

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Case: Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Facts: In March 1963, a kidnapping and sexual assault happened in Phoenix, Arizona. On March 13 Ernesto Miranda, 23, was arrested in his home, taken to the police station, recognized by the victim, and taken into an interrogation room. Miranda was not told of his rights to counsel prior to questioning. Investigators emerged from the room with a written confession signed by Miranda. It included a typed disclaimer, also signed by Miranda, stating that he had “full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me,” and that he had knowingly waived those rights. Two weeks later at a preliminary hearing, Miranda again was denied counsel. At his trial he did have a lawyer, whose objections to the use of Miranda's signed confession as evidence were overruled. Miranda was convicted of kidnapping and rape, and received a 20-year sentence. Issue: Under the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination and the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process of law clause, prior to any questioning must a suspect taken into custody by the police be warned of certain rights? Holding: (Vote: 5-4) The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the state court. The majority agreed with Miranda in that they should have had their right to counsel and that they should have been informed of their right completely. Majority Reasoning: (Chief Justice Warren)

A. Rule: The entire body of the Fifth Amendment's self-incrimination clause was to be applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Miranda rests on the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which requires that criminal procedure in state courts be fundamentally fair. Without a warning of basic rights, a suspect might be inclined to admit to various acts or actions, purely by succumbing to what he or she believes to be pressure from the acting authority figures. This provides for "psychological intimidation." Interrogation...
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