Summary Case Law: Miranda v. Arizona

Summary of the Case Law: Miranda v. Arizona (Comparative Criminal Law 2016/2017).

Police interrogation and a breach of the right not to incriminate oneself. 


Miranda v. Arizona

Introduction

This case was brought before the US Supreme Court and it is about the Miranda Rights. This case is about police interrogation in the United States. In this case the statements of the defence were obtained under circumstances that did not meet constitutional standards for protection of the privilege against self-incrimination. The Court deals with 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. The Miranda rights consist of the right to remain silent, everything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law, the right to an attorney, if you can’t afford an attorney you will get one. (page 12 & 13).

 

Facts

The Mexican defendant Ernesto Miranda was questioned while in custody and he was cut off from the outside world. There was given no warning of his rights at the outset of the interrogation process (page 19). The police took him to a special interrogation room where they secured a confession (par. 25). The defendant was a seriously disturbed individual with pronounced sexual fantasies.

Two hours later the police emerged from the interrogation room with a written confession signed by Miranda. At the top of the statement was a typed paragraph stating that the confession was made voluntarily, without threats or promises of immunity and ‘’with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me.’’ At trial before the jury, the written confession was admitted to the evidence and Miranda was found guilty of kidnapping and rape. .

 

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