Miranda Rights

Topics: Miranda v. Arizona, Self-incrimination, Miranda warning Pages: 2 (566 words) Published: January 12, 2006

Literature Review #3: Miranda

Henry Slack Jr.

Park University

Literature Review #3: Miranda

"You have the right to remain silent." Those words have been popularized in television and movies, and many people recognize them as the opening of the Miranda rights. But what those rights are, and what results when police officers fail to read them to criminal suspects, are topics that are frequently misunderstood. Before Miranda, the right against self-incrimination was never self-executing and always had to be invoked by the suspect. This invocation is what is commonly referred to as ‘pleading the Fifth.' In Miranda, the Supreme Court shifted this burden to the police, and required them to specifically advise suspects of their right to remain silent and their right to have an attorney present during questioning. The Court ruled that all statements or confessions made in the absence of the warnings are inherently involuntary and coerced, and hence inadmissible in court. Analysis

The most common misconception regarding the warnings is that police must read them to everyone that they arrest, and that an arrest without them is somehow invalid. This is a myth: as long as police have probable cause to believe a suspect has committed a crime, the arrest is valid. The decision in Miranda v. Arizona essentially is that "The prosecution may not use statements stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of safeguards effective against self-incrimination". This means that any time a person is in custody and subject to interrogation, the police must apprise the person of his rights, or the statements are inadmissible in court. Custody is defined as any deprivation of liberty where the person does not feel the freedom to simply walk away. It should be noted that courts generally rule that people are not in custody during routine traffic stops and other...
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