Bacground & facts of the case



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Miranda vs Arizona

[1966]
BACGROUND & FACTS OF THE CASE:



  • Ernesto Arthur Miranda was arrested in downtown Phoenix on charges of robbery, rape, & kidnapping.

  • He was interrogated by police and convicted in AZ courts.

  • Miranda’s lawyer appealed to AZ Supreme Court and conviction upheld

  • Miranda apparently was told if he confessed he could get off lighter

  • There was on the Warren Court a spirit for legal aid movement.


ISSUE AT STAKE IN THE CASE:

  • Miranda case foreshadowed by the Escobedo v Illinois case (1964)

  • Does a defendant have the right to legal counsel before indictment and does confession affect the proceedings in the trial at court?

  • At what point must the police notify a defendant of his/her rights?


HOLDING OF THE COURT:

  • The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination requires law enforcement officials to advise a suspect interrogated in custody of his/her rights to remain silent and to obtain an attorney. Arizona’s court was reversed and remanded. The decision was a 5-4 split with Warren, Black, Douglas, Brennan, Fortas in the majority.


RATIONALE:

  • “The person in custody must prior to interrogation be clearly informed that he/she has a right to remain silent, and that anything he/she says will be held against him/her in court; he/she must be clearly informed that he/she has a right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him/her during interrogation, and that, if he/she is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him/her.”

  • If the individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior or during questioning, that he/she wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease… If the individual states that he/she wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have the opportunity to confer with the attorney, and to have the attorney present during any subsequent questioning.”


SIGNIFICANCE OF DECISION:

This is the crime that changed American justice and criminal procedure Miranda was retried, convicted, and served 11 years. Police departments were required to use “the Miranda Card Questions” before any interrogation took place. Miranda grew to be familiar and widely accepted. TV crime shows have now made it common place and common knowledge in the arrest procedure.


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