Miranda v. ArizonaWhy is Miranda v. Arizona a significant case?
The Miranda case was the inception of the Miranda warnings:
"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 speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense."
Miranda v. Arizona was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966. In it, the Court overturned a lower court's conviction of Ernesto Miranda on kidnapping and rape charges, as the Supreme Court determined that the confession to the crimes obtained by the police from Mr. Miranda was unconstitutional and void. The Court held that certain procedural safeguards must be in place to preserve the constitutional right of due process of law. Hence, the Miranda warnings are intended to advise a person in custody of certain fundamental rights before that person is subjected to questioning which can be used against him or her.
I think that based on television, people have become much more educated about the law in general and rights under Miranda in particular, whether true or Hollywoodized. Watching Law and Order, I have noticed in recent years that Miranda has changed in some cases, due to the Patriot Act. I am not sure how much of this is still true under the current administration, but if you are accused of terrorism it seems that all bets are off. Interestingly enough, I also noticed on Law and Order UK, while I am on the subject, they seem to have their own version.
Miranda V. Arizona is significant because it was a controversial Warren court decision establishing a defendant's "Miranda Rights." The court ruled that no confession could be admissible unless a suspect had been made aware of his or her rights and the suspect had waived them.
Miranda v. Arizona is actually one of the most significant cases in United States Supreme Court history. It involves the right to counsel, the right to not incriminate oneself (as protected by the fifth amendment) and created a set of rights known, ironically enough as the Miranda rights. The landmark decision states that in order for statements made during interrogation to be admissible in a court of law, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was made aware of his fifth amendment right against self incrimination and was also made aware of his or her right to have an attorney present at the time of the interrogation. This case led to similar decisions in many other civil liberties cases as well.
Miranda v. Arizona is one of the only cases with which nearly every police officer in the country will be familiar. Every custodial interrogation done by police in the US requires the Miranda warning be read prior. Due to this, most every officer will have with them an index card printed with the entire Miranda warning. I always had at least one in my pocket- in English and Spanish.