In terms of Criminal Law applications, what is the significance of Miranda v. Arizona?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the one of the most profound criminal law applications from the Miranda case is the idea that there is a shield that the person accused of a crime can employ at any time to defend themselves.  This shield is the rights that are included in the 5th Amendment.  The 5th Amendment's entitlements are explicitly drawn out in the Miranda case.  In such a condition, the applications to criminal law are quite profound.  On one hand, the person accused of a crime is able to invoke the rights afforded to them under the 5th Amendment.  At the same time, I think that one of the most intense applications to criminal law from the case is the idea that the law enforcement officers have a responsibility to ensure that those accused of a crime know full well what their rights are.  It is in this light where the case has tremendous applications because it holds the officers who represent law enforcement to a higher Constitutional standard.  The case was able to shift some level of power to those accused of a crime, ensuring that the Constitution does "protect the poor and the ignorant" and those who are accused of criminal activity.  From a criminal law point of view, this becomes one of the most profound elements of the case.

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