The topic of my choice is Miranda rights and I chose it because it is vital for everyone to have extensive knowledge about the rights involved. It is also a demand from the United States Supreme court that people should be informed about their constitutional rights. The origin of Miranda right go back to around March 1963 when an 18 year old woman claimed that she had been kidnapped, taken to a deserted place, and raped. After police officers questioned her about the story in order to detect if there was any lie, the results proved nothing. However, the police tracked the license number plate of the car that looked like that of her kidnaper, which brought them to Ernesto Miranda whom they realized had a past record of tweeting. Even though the victim was not able to recognize Miranda in a line-up, he was taken to police detention and interrogated. Consequently, the questioning was disputed and the detectives finally concluded that Miranda later denied, unaware that he did not have to say anything at all. The declaration of guilt was very concise and differed in some respects from what the victim recounted about the crime. On the other hand, the Miranda’s chosen defence attorney did not call any witness during the trial and Miranda was found guilty. While in prison at Arizona state jail, the America Civil Liberties Union appealed Mirada’s case claiming that the confession was coerced and forged. Eventually, the Supreme Court reversed his conviction and was later retried and found guilty again in 1966 despite the inadequate proof against him. After staying in jail until 1972, Miranda was later on assassinated in 1976 following a poker game played on him (Ruschmann 54).
It was from this case of Miranda that the Supreme Court handed down its decision and established a principle that every criminal suspect should be informed about their rights before being interrogated. Since then, there has been a considered standard police force procedure that gives everybody a right to stay silent and that everything one says can and will be used against him/her during trial by the court of law. Therefore, everyone has a right to a legal representative and if you cannot afford one, one can be appointed to you. The United States Constitution reserves several rights for people suspected of offense, such as right to an attorney and right to remain quiet, are created to ensure that whoever accused of an offense is assured of these rights. Previously, the police used to take advantage of the fact that not everybody knew their rights by mind. Actually, it is likely that many people did not know most of their rights when accused of crimes. The detective’s stand was that if anyone accused spoke about an offense without realizing that they did not have to, it was a fault of the person for not raising that right even if he/she never knew or did not remember that he/she had the right. This was the root of the Miranda’s issue, whereby the court ruled that the testimonials given to the police officers could not be relied as evidence because Miranda was not informed about his rights (Sonneborn 23).
Nowadays, before any relevant interrogation of a suspected criminal is done, the detectives are required to apply the Miranda rights. If police interrogate a suspect in detention without first providing the Miranda rights, any confession or statement made is assumed to be involuntary and cannot be applied against the suspect in whichever illegal case. In such a case, any proof revealed as a result of the confession or statement is also likely not to be considered in the case.
Ruschmann, Paul. Miranda Rights. United States: Infobase Publishing, 2007. Print.
Sonneborn, Liz. Miranda V. Arizona: The Rights of the Accused. United States: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2003. Print