Miranda Warning

Protecting rights since '66

Police questioning of suspects is a key procedure in solving crimes, however, it can be easily abused. Especially when dealing with frightened or ignorant suspects, police officers may sometimes forget or ignore their constitutional rights. Police may also take part in unauthorized detentions or lengthy investigations to wring confessions from the suspects

In Miranda vs Arizona (1966), the Supreme Court ruled that no conviction could state if evidence introduced at the trial had been obtained obtained by the police during "custodial interrogation" unless suspects were notified that they had the right to remain silent and that anything they say can and will be used against them; to stop questioning at any point; to stop questioning at any point; to have an attorney present during questioning, and to have a lawyer appointed to them if they cannot afford to hire their own.

If these suspects answer questions without an attorney, it is on the prosecutor to demonstrate that the suspects knowingly/intelligently gave up their right to remain silent. Failure to comply with these requirements usually leads to reversal of a conviction (even if there is other incriminating (sp) evidence to establish guilt).

Some people (critics of the Miranda decision) believe the Supreme Court severely limited the police in bringing criminals to justice. Over the years, the Court has modified the original ruling by allowing evidence obtained contrary to Miranda guidelines to be used to attack the credibility of defendants who offer testimony at trial that is different then their statements to the police. But, the Court has reaffirmed the Miranda Right's Constitutional necessity.

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