Arizona V. Miranda - Darket Class Blog

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Arizona V. Miranda
Presented by Tim, and Brendan.
Historical Background
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It all started March 13, 1963 (over 47 years ago now), this was the day
Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona in connection to a
Kidnapping case, however the police never informed him of his rights,
nor did they tell him if the questioning was voluntary.
In a lineup with several others, Miranda was chosen by the victim as
the person who'd kidnapped her, and raped her ten days before.
Initially Miranda knew nothing of the crime, however, after two hours
of questioning by the police Miranda confessed, and at 1:30pm he
wrote a written confession with details of the crime.
He was subsequently arrested and put in jail, he was not afforded a
lawyer at the police station, or at the preliminary hearing. At the
arraignment, the judge appointed a 76 yr old lawyer named Alvin
Moore, who had not practiced criminal law for over 16 yrs.
Historical Background Continued!
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Miranda pleads guilty for reason of insanity, a psychiatrist reports his
many mental issues:
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Arrests for being a Peeping Tom.
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Attempted Rape at 15 yrs old.
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Dishonorably Discharged from the Army.
Psychiatrist reports him impulsive with little self-control, but not
insane, as he clearly knew the difference between right and wrong.
Miranda's lawyer argues that as Miranda was not informed of his right
to attorney his confession shouldn't be used in court.
The first Jury found Miranda guilty of Kidnapping, and rape, Miranda
appeals, in 1965 the case was heard by the Arizona Supreme Court.
Further Historical Background!
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John J. Flynn replaces Alvin Moore as Miranda's lawyer.
Arizona Supreme court finds that Miranda's rights were not violated
by the lower court's ruling that the confession could be used against
him. Miranda appeals to the US Supreme Court.
Due to mounting pressure brought on by the Escobedo ruling in June
1964, the Supreme court felt they needed to have a final ruling
regarding the confession issue.
Just so happens that Miranda V. Arizona was the first case in the pile
of 140 cases, thus Miranda V. Arizona became the poster file of the
confession issue.
Legal Question
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The legal question in this instance was whether or not law
enforcement had to inform a suspect of their 5th amendment rights
before/during the arrest or interrogation.
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The
Decision
“The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly
informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he
says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed
that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer
with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will
be appointed to represent him.”
“If the individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during
questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must
cease ... If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the
interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the
individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to
have him present during any subsequent questioning.” - Chief Justice
Earl Warren.
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As a result of the courts decision Miranda conviction was overturned,
but was retried, and convicted again in 1967, and was sentenced to 20
to 30 years, he was paroled in 1972, and was stabbed to death in a Bar
during an argument on January 31st, 1976.
The Decision – Dissent + (½ Concurred + ½ Dissent)
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Dissent:
"Nothing in the letter or the spirit of the Constitution or in the precedents squares with
the heavy-handed and one-sided action that is so precipitously taken by the Court in
the name of fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities." - Justice Harlan.
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Justice Byron White argued that the court was creating a new constitutional right
when there was no basis for such, he said “self-incrimination forbids in-custody
interrogation without the warnings specified in the majority opinion and without a
clear waiver of counsel has no significant support in the history of the privilege or in
the language of the Fifth Amendment”
½ Concurred + ½ Dissent:
Justice Tom C. Clark argued that the court was going too far, he wanted the court
instead to: “consider in each case whether the police officer prior to custodial
interrogation added the warning that the suspect might have counsel present at the
interrogation and, further, that a court would appoint one at his request if he was too
poor to employ counsel. In the absence of warnings, the burden would be on the
State to prove that counsel was knowingly and intelligently waived or that in the
totality of the circumstances, including the failure to give the necessary warnings,
the confession was clearly voluntary.”
Precedent
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All suspects must be informed of their 5th amendment rights, and the
right to an Attorney prior/during any
interrogation/arrest/investigation(Their “Miranda Rights”).
Confessions, and arrests are void if the suspects Miranda Rights are
not read to them.
As of June 1st, 2010, the US supreme court decided that “criminal
suspects who are aware of their right to silence and to an attorney, but
choose not to "unambiguously" invoke them, may find any subsequent
voluntary statements treated as an implied waiver of their rights, and
which may be used in evidence.”
Public Support
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In this trial the ACLU(American Civil Liberties Union) argued for
Miranda for the “Rights of the People”, “they reasoned that police
cannot be allowed to violate people's rights, since people can't be
protected if they don't know what their rights are”.
In addition to the ACLU, the NDAA(National District Attorneys
Association) argued against Miranda, and reasoned that “The rights of
suspects must be balanced against the rights of the public to be
secure”, they believed that Miranda rights would kill the legal system
as suspects would consult an attorney, who would then encourage
his/her client to not speak.
Judgment and Justification
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Personally I would have sided with the US supreme court on
this issue, it wasn't fair of the police to not inform Miranda
of his rights prior/during his arrest on March 13th, 1963.
The written confession they made him write: “I, Ernesto A.
Miranda, Do hereby swear that I make this statement
voluntarily and of my own free will, with no threats,
coercion, or promises of immunity and with full knowledge
of my legals rights, understanding any statement I make
may be used against me.” Is inherently paradoxical, if one is
under threats, coercion, torture, ones torturer would clearly
make the tortured say they weren't tortured! In any case they
violated the 5th amendment by not informing him of his
rights, and by not affording him a lawyer at the police
station, or at the preliminary hearing.

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