May 6, 2013
Miranda Rights Of all cases to make its way to the Supreme Court, Miranda v. Arizona may well be the most popular to date. Everyone has heard of the “Miranda Rights” which are read to suspects. While people may be familiar with the terminology from television shows, not nearly as many understand the true origins of the Miranda Rights. The actual case of Miranda v. Illinois may be the case the “Miranda Rights” are named after, but several other Supreme Court decisions all came together to form the ruling, including Escabedo v. Illinois. Since the Miranda was the final case to be decided at the time covering this issue it is considered the father of the “right to remain silent.” In 1963, an 18 year old woman was kidnapped and raped in Phoenix, Arizona. The police investigated the case, (Miranda v. Arizona), and arrested Ernesto Miranda. By being interrogated by the police for nearly 2 hours Miranda Confessed to the crime. Miranda was convicted for kidnapping and rape. However, when Miranda was arrested he was not informed of his rights prior to the questioning. The Miranda decision is fundamentally based on the Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination, as well as the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. In court, the police officers who conducted the interrogation pointed to the heading of the signed written statement as proof that Miranda had been told his rights and had voluntarily waived them. However, the statement said nothing regarding an attorney, and the police officers admitted that Miranda had not been told he had a right to an attorney. They also pointed out that he had not requested an attorney. Miranda was found guilty, and received a sentence of twenty to thirty years in prison. The Arizona State Supreme Court affirmed the conviction. Ernesto Miranda was given a second trial at which his confession was not presented. Based on the evidence, Miranda was again convicted of kidnapping and rape. He was paroled from prison in 1972 having served 11 years. The Miranda rights are required to be given to a suspect prior to any questioning when the suspect is going to be in a custodial setting. According to author Robert Aberle, The Administration of Justice, he incorporates that “a custodial setting would be anytime the suspect is under arrest or is otherwise being deprived of the freedom to leave”. In addition, it is important to note that failing to give Miranda Rights to an arrested subject does not negate or make an arrest illegal. Aberle states, “Miranda has nothing to do with the actual arrest; it only has to do with the questioning of a suspect in a custodial setting. The case of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), had a significant impact on law enforcement in the Unites States and also our society. It educated the person about relevant constitutional rights, such as the Fifth Amendment. It also inhibited law enforcement from infringing those rights by applying the Exclusionary Rule to any testimony or incriminating statements the defendant made unless he intentionally waived his rights. On Miranda’s first appeal, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled that his rights had not been violated by the confession, and therefore he was affirmed the conviction. The court also stated that Miranda was never informed of his right to not be compelled to incriminate himself. It also stated that without these warnings, all statement from Miranda were inadmissible. They went on to rule that, just because the confession had a typed statement saying Miranda had full knowledge of his rights, never reaches the level needed for one to intelligently waive their constitutional rights. Based on this information, the Supreme Court reversed the decision. Though the decision is usually referred to as the Miranda case,...
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