Miranda V. Arizona

The 1965 Supreme Court Case on the Rights of the Accuse

Facts of the Case:

In a very brief nutshell, Mr. Miranda was arrested and convicted of kidnapping. One piece of evidence was a signed confession that stated he had been made aware of his rights, and he claimed had not. The Supreme Court held as a result that when someone is in a "custodial interrogation" situation (where the state/its agents have you in a position you are not free to leave) in a criminal investigation, you have an absolute right not to make statements (also goes to 5th amendment right against self-incrimination), and that you have the right to an attorney to be present during questioning, and if you cannot afford one the state must provide you one at no cost (at least in felony situations). This took place in the early sixties and it essentially put an end to sanctioned police brutality. The Constitutional issue was "the admissibility of statements obtained from an individual who is subjected to custodial police interrogation and the necessity for procedures which assure that the individual is accorded his privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution not to be compelled to incriminate himself" (this is from the Supreme Court opinion at 384 U.S. 436 15 (1966). ) The arguments essentially had to do with how a state can interrogate suspects and what they can and cannot do to get a confession. Miranda appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, claiming that the police had unconstitutionally obtained his confession. The court disagreed, however, and upheld the conviction. Miranda v. Arizona established that criminal defendants had a right to know their rights under the constitution prior to questioning by law enforcement. Prior to this, police officers did not have to advise a suspect about his rights. This is the right to remain silent, to have a lawyer present during questioning, and to have a lawyer provided if you cannot afford one. This case had an impactful effect on society as far as where we are today. Because of this case, now, whenever a person is taken into police custody, before being questioned he or she must be told of the 5th Amendment right to not make any self-incriminating statements. As a result of Miranda, anyone in police custody must be told four things before being questioned; You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. And, If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. These are now the "Miranda Rights".
Miranda v Arizona

Court Verdict

He appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, claiming that the police had unconstitutionally obtained his confession. The court disagreed, however, and upheld the conviction. Miranda appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reviewed the case in 1966. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Cheif justice Earl Warren, ruled that the prosecution could not introduce Miranda's confession as evidence in a criminal trial because the police had failed to first inform Miranda of his right to an attorney and against self-incrimination. The police duty to give these warnings is compelled by the Constitution's 5th Amendment, which gives a criminal suspect the right to refuse "to be a witness against himself," and 6th Amendment, which guarantees criminal defendants the right to an attorney. To protect these rights, the Court elaborated statements that the police are required to tell a defendant who is being detained and interrogated. These mandatory "Miranda Rights" that begin with "the right to remain silent," and continue with "anything said can and will be used against you in a court of law." The police are further forced to inform the suspect of his or her right to an attorney and allow for a defendant's attorney to accompany him during interrogations. Because none of these rights were given to Ernesto Miranda and his "confession" was unconstitutionally admitted at trial, his conviction was reversed. Miranda was later retried and convicted without the admission of his confession.

majority decisions of the court

1.what was the decision? - to let Enesto go because the police officer did not read him his rights.

2. what was the supreme court vote in the majority?- 5 out of the 4 justices of the supreme court, favored miranda

3. what was the date for the majority decision?- June 13th, 1966

4.Wich justices voted for the majority? - Majority opinion written by Chief Justice Warren and joined by Justices Black, Douglas, Brennan, and Fortas.

5.who wrote the majority decision? - Chief Justice Earl Warren

6. Describe the majority decision? - the defendants arrested under state law must be informed of their constitutional rights against self-incrimination and to representation by an attorney before being interrogated when in police custody.

7. Were there any concurrent opinions written? -The concurrent opinions in Miranda v. Arizona stated that the rights granted to suspects in the majority decision had no support in the U.S. Constitution or English common law. The dissenting justices felt the court was overreacting and were concerned that its decision would compromise the efficiency of interrogation in law enforcement.

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