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Historical Event Paper: Miranda Rights

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American History & Government Since 1877 Historical Event Paper ————————————————- The Miranda Rights (Miranda v Arizona 1966) In 1966, during the era of the Civil Rights Act, the U. S. Supreme Court made a landmark ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 along with three other consolidated cases: Westover v. United States, Vignera v. New York, and California v. Stewart. The case being tried that eventually brought about Miranda rights ruling involved Ernesto Miranda of Phoenix, Arizona.

While in custody of police, Miranda signed a written confession for the crime in which he was charged.

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He was subsequently convicted. His attorneys appealed the case on the grounds that Miranda did not understand that he had the right against self-incrimination. The decision in the case caused Miranda’s conviction to be overturned. The 5-4 decision written by Chief 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 Fifth Amendment, which gives a criminal suspect the right to refuse “to be a witness against himself”, and Sixth Amendment, which guarantees criminal defendants the right to an attorney. The Court maintained that the defendant’s right against self-incrimination has long been part of American law as a means to equalize the vulnerability inherent in being detained. Such a position, unchecked, can often lead to government abuse. For example, the Court cited the continued high incidence of police violence designed to compel confessions from a suspect.

This and other forms of intimidation deprive criminal suspects of their basic liberties and can lead to false confessions. The defendant’s right to an attorney is an equally fundamental right, because the presence of an attorney in interrogations enables “the defendant under otherwise compelling circumstances to tell his story without fear, effectively, and in a way that eliminates the evils in the interrogations process”, according to Chief Justice Earl Warren. The Court ruled, without these two fundamental rights, both of which “dispel the ompulsion inherent in custodial surroundings,” “no statement obtained from the defendant can truly be the product of his free choice”. (2007 Educational Broadcasting Corporation) The decision established the principle that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. As well, that the defendant not only understood these rights, but voluntarily waived them. The resolution had a major impact on law enforcement in the United States by making what became known as the Miranda Rights part of routine police procedure.

Before questioning, any suspect who has been arrested is read the Miranda Rights: * You have the right to remain silent. * Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law. * You have the right to an attorney. * If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. * Do you understand these rights I have just read to you? The suspect must give a clear, affirmative answer to this question. Silence is not considered having waived these rights because the suspect may simply not understand or speak English. An arrest can be made without the giving the Miranda Warning.

Police are only required to Mirandize a suspect prior to interrogation. The Miranda rights are simply an extension of the Fifth Amendment, which protects against coercive interrogations. (2007-2010 MirandaWarning. Org) Later cases were brought before the Supreme Court challenging the 1966 Miranda ruling including Dickerson v. United States 530 U. S. 428 (2000). This case asked that federal law be changed to allow courts to accept voluntary confessions from suspects when police fail, or are unable to inform the suspect of his or her rights. The following is an account of the circumstances surrounding the case.

In January 1997, suspected bank robber Charles Dickerson gave a voluntary confession to FBI agents that he had driven the getaway car in recent bank robberies. At trial, an Alexandria, Virginia federal judge disallowed the confession as evidence, finding that Dickerson had not been advised of his Miranda rights before giving the confession. On appeal by the U. S. government, a U. S. Court of appeals ruled that a federal law passed by Congress in 1968 allowing voluntary confessions to be accepted as evidence “trumped” the Miranda law. The 1968 law was never recognized or upheld by the Supreme Court.

Dickerson’s case was denied, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a decisive 7-2 decision upholding the legendary Miranda ruling. (2012 About. com) More recently the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins 560 U. S. (2010) (docket 08-1470), was heard by the Supreme Court. The court considered the position of a suspect who understands his or her right to remain silent under Miranda v. Arizona and is aware he or she has the right to remain silent, but does not explicitly invoke or waive the right. In this case, the Court held that simply refusing to answer questions does not, by itself, require that the police immediately give up their questioning.

In the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy stated that a criminal suspect who wants to invoke their Miranda right not to be questioned must do it unambiguously, simply remaining silent for certain questions, while answering others was not enough, the Court said. Going forward, it appears that under the majority decision a criminal suspect must be perhaps more clear if they truly wish to invoke their right to remain silent. (EzineArticles. com/4409363) The Miranda Warning was established to protect the due process that is granted to all under the criminal justice system and provide them with fair treatment or representation under the law.

This was created to protect all persons no matter their financial status, ethnic background, culture, etc… Equality under the law and just treatment are the ideals held within the Miranda Rights. (FindLaw 2007) The induction of the Miranda Rights during a time when civil rights were on the forefront of American politics greatly adds to its significance in the history of American society. Personally, the Miranda Rights and its effect on police procedure made a significant impact on my life in my career. Being a State trooper, I dealt with the Miranda Rights on an almost a daily basis.

Prior to interviews and interrogations I had to ensure that I followed the proper procedures to inform the suspect of his/her rights. I would obtain the proper form titled “Rights Waiver”, ask the suspect if they understood and could read English and check the appropriate box indicating their response. The suspect is then required to place their name on the form and read along while I read the Miranda Rights. Furthermore, they must make the choice to check and initial a box on the form indicating that they understood their rights and would like to proceed with questioning or that they understood heir rights and would like to stop and have an attorney represent them. The form is then signed by the suspect and witnessed by another trooper. If these procedures are not properly followed and you violated someone’s rights any information obtained is declared poison and is dismissed in a suppression hearing or at any time it was discovered. Internet Resources www. wikipedia. org www. FindLaw. com mirandarights. org www. about. com Book Resources Miranda Rights: Protecting the Rights of the Accused G. S. Prentzas – Rosen Pub Group (August 2005)|

Cite this Historical Event Paper: Miranda Rights

Historical Event Paper: Miranda Rights. (2016, Sep 30). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/miranda-rights/

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