In 1966, the U. S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Miranda
v. Arizona. The Miranda decision was a departure from the established law in the area of
police interrogation. Prior to Miranda, a confession would be suppressed only if a court
determined it resulted from some actual coercion, threat, or promise. The Miranda
decision was intended to protect suspects of their 5th Amendment right of no
self-incrimination. The verdict of Miranda v. Arizona is an efficient way of informing
criminal suspects of their rights established by the Constitution, allowing un-Constitutional
confessions to be nullinvoid in the court of law. However, it does not enforce it well
enough. For example, a statement taken in violation of Miranda can be used for
impeachment purposes and deciding whether evidence derived from a Miranda violation is
admissible. Also, Miranda applies to undercover police interrogation and prior to routine
booking questions, protecting all suspect in American custody to be aware of their rights.
Next, it says that police may not continue to interrogate a suspect after he makes a request
for a lawyer.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on November 27, 1962, a young woman left the First
National Bank of Arizona after attending night classes. A male suspect robbed the woman
of $8 at knife-point after forcing his way into her car. Four months later, the same suspect
abducted an 18-year-old girl at knife-point and, after tying her hands and feet, drove to a
secluded area of the desert and raped her. On March 13, 1963, police arrested
23-year-old Ernesto Arthur Miranda as a suspect in the two crimes. Miranda had a prior
arrest record for armed robbery and a juvenil...
... middle of paper ...
The Supreme Court has practically abandoned the underlying principle of the
Miranda decision, that custodial police interrogation is inherently coercive, and has carved
out many exceptions to the Miranda exclusionary rule. Consequently, a violation of the
Miranda ruling does not necessarily mean that the resulting statement will be inadmissible.
The Supreme Court has made it clear that the Miranda warnings are not constitutionally
required but are only prophylactic rules designed to protect a suspect's right against
compelled self-incrimination. Voluntariness remains the constitutional standard that must
be met when obtaining a statement from a suspect. Nonetheless, law enforcement
agencies should consult with legal counsel to ensure that investigative practices conform
to the requirements set forth by the Supreme Court in Miranda and other precedent.
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