Miranda v. Arizona (1966) – Miranda rights

IRAC Summary:

Issue: The primary issue in Miranda v. Arizona is whether the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination extends to the police interrogation of a suspect in custody and whether the suspect must be informed of their rights before questioning.

Rule: The rule established by the U.S. Supreme Court is that the Fifth Amendment requires law enforcement officials to advise a suspect interrogated in custody of their rights to remain silent and to obtain an attorney. Police must make the suspect aware that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law, they have the right to consult with an attorney, and they have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If the suspect cannot afford an attorney, one must be provided before questioning if the suspect so desires.

Application: In the case of Ernesto Miranda, he was not informed of his rights to counsel and to remain silent before being interrogated by police, during which he confessed to the charges. The Supreme Court applied the Fifth Amendment and determined that because Miranda was not informed of his rights, his confession was not admissible as evidence. This decision led to the requirement that law enforcement must provide warnings to a suspect about their rights, now known as Miranda rights, before custodial interrogation.

Conclusion: The Supreme Court held that the prosecution could not introduce Miranda’s confession as evidence in a criminal trial because the police had failed to inform him of his Fifth Amendment rights to counsel and against self-incrimination, which are fundamental safeguards of liberty.

Detailed IRAC Outline:

I. Issue:
– Whether or not the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against self-incrimination extends to a suspect during police interrogations, and if the police are required to inform the suspect of their constitutional rights before interrogation takes place.

II. Rule:
– The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination requires that law enforcement officials provide warnings to a suspect about their right to remain silent, that any statement they make may be used as evidence against them, the right to the presence of an attorney, and the right to a court-appointed attorney if they cannot afford one, before custodial interrogation.

III. Application:

A. Facts Pertaining to Ernesto Miranda:
1. Miranda was arrested and taken into custody by Phoenix Police Department.
2. He was interrogated for two hours without being informed of his Fifth Amendment rights.
3. Miranda signed a written confession that included a statement that he was confessing voluntarily, with full knowledge of his legal rights, but the facts suggest he was not actually aware of his rights.

B. Legal Analysis and Discussion:
1. The Supreme Court reviewed whether the confession was obtained in violation of Miranda’s Fifth Amendment rights.
2. The Court considered previous cases and the fundamental importance of the right against self-incrimination.
3. The Court weighed the procedures necessary to secure the privilege and the government’s interest in effective law enforcement.
4. The decision established that the prosecution’s use of an individual’s statements, when such statements are made during custodial police interrogation without proper legal warnings, violates the Fifth Amendment.

IV. Conclusion:
– The Supreme Court ruled that the confession obtained from Miranda was inadmissible because he had not been properly informed of his rights. This led to the creation of the “Miranda rights” that law enforcement must recite to suspects taken into custody before interrogation, upholding the constitutional protections guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

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