Miranda Rights Are The Rights Given To People In The United States Upon Arrest. The Rights Are Also Called The “miranda Warning” And They Stem From A 1966 Supreme Court Case: Miranda V. Arizona.
In the initial case, the offender, Ernesto Miranda, was a 24-year-old high school drop-out with a police record when he was implicated in 1963 of kidnapping, raping and robbing an 18-year-old lady. Throughout a two-hour interrogation, Miranda admitted to the criminal activities.
Legal representatives would compete that Miranda had not been clearly notified of his rights to have a legal representative and against self-incrimination. Their legal argument to the U.S. Supreme Court would permanently alter U.S. criminal treatment.
The Criminal Law Violation
The crime in question took place in March 1963 when an 18-year-old girl was by force grabbed by a man as she was walking to her house from the bus stop after putting in long work hours at a movie theater in Phoenix, Arizona. The assailant dragged her into his car, bound her hands behind her back and forced her to lie down in the rear seats.
After driving for 20 minutes, the man stopped beyond the city limits and raped her. He also ordered her to turn over her cash and then made her again lay in the back seat.
He then drove back into the city and released her just blocks from her home.
Law Enforcement Catches a Break in the Case
Days after reporting the incident to Phoenix cops, the 18-year-old and her cousin observed a vehicle passing slowly by the same bus stop and reported the suspicious activity to police along with a particial license plate number. Local authorities tracked the vehicle to 29-year-old Twila Hoffman who was residing in neighboring Mesa, Arizona.
At the time, Hoffman’s boyfriend named Ernesto Miranda was living with her. When law enforcement officers arrived at Twila Hoffman’s front door, Miranda spoke with them and decided to go to the station and appear in a line-up.
The victim of the crime was not immediately able to identify her attacker from the line-up at the police headquarters but that is not how it was explained to Miranda. When Miranda asked later on, “How did I do?,” he was told by Captain Carroll Cooley, “Not well, Ernie.”
Miranda was then questioned for 2 hours without a lawyer. During the two hour interrogation, the victim was brought in the room. One of the detectives asked Miranda if this was the individual he had raped. “That’s the girl” he replied.
Miranda eventually provided information of the crimes that closely matched the victim’s account. He consented to formalize his confession in a written declaration, which he wrote out under the words, this confession was made with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me.
His confession was used as sole evidence when he was tried and founded guilty for the criminal offenses by an Arizona court. Miranda’s legal representative, Alvin Moore, interested the Arizona Supreme Court 6 months later, presenting the concerns:
” Was [Miranda’s] statement made voluntarily?” and “Was [he] afforded all the safeguards to his rights provided by the Constitution of the United States and the law and guidelines of the courts?” The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in April 1965 that Miranda’s confession was legitimate which he had actually know his rights.
The Involvement of The ACLU
Miranda’s case, nevertheless, stood out to an attorney with the Phoenix chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Robert Corcoran. Corcoran contacted the prominent Arizona trial attorney John J. Flynn, who took over the case and recruited his colleague and specialist in constitutional law, John P. Frank, to help in an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
In his statement on behalf of Miranda, Frank wrote, The day is here to recognize the full meaning of the Sixth Amendment.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights of criminal offenders, including the right to an attorney. At play was the Fifth Amendment, which safeguards those accused of crimes from being compelled to incriminate themselves.
Even though Miranda had written his confession under a statement saying that he was completely familiar with his legal rights, his legal representatives argued those rights had not been made abundantly clear to him. Under the pressure of detainment, they argued, his confession should therefore be inadmissible.
The Supreme Court’s Landmark Decision
The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, concurred. In a 5-4 judgment, the Supreme Court reversed the Arizona Supreme Court ruling and declared that Miranda’s confession cannot be used as evidence against him in a criminal proceeding.
Warren’s 60-plus-page written argument, launched on June 13, 1966, further outlined police treatment to guarantee that offenders are plainly informed their rights as they are being detained and questioned.
The Miranda Warning
Law Enforcement’s procedure was encapsulated in the Miranda Warning, which police departments nationwide quickly began dispersing on index cards to their officers so that they would recite them to suspects.
The Miranda Warning states:
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. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
Retrial, Conviction, Murder
Miranda was re-tried for the case, with the confession not allowed to be presented to the jury. While his Supreme Court case altered the course of U.S. criminal processes, Miranda’s fate would not end so well.
In his retrial, his ex-girlfriend, Twila Hoffman, testified against him providing damaging testimony. She revealed that Miranda had told her about his criminal activities while he was locked up in prison. In October 1967, Miranda was convicted and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison.
Miranda was paroled by December 1975, but just over a month later on, on January 31, 1976, he was stabbed to death in a Phoenix bar altercation.
Officers would apprehend two individuals who were with Miranda that night for questioning. Before asking each about the night, officers recited the Miranda warning (in Spanish). After questioning the two men were released from custody.
Later, statements from witnesses would focus the investigation to one of the two men. However by that time, the primary suspect had run off and was never captured. No charges were ever filed for Miranda’s murder.
As a result of Miranda v. Arizona, law enforcement agencies across the nation are required to make individuals who are accused of crimes aware of their Miranda Rights. If you are ever accused of a crime by Law Enforcement in Las Vegas, Nevada, contact the top criminal lawyers in Las Vegas, Mace Yampolsky & Associates.