Your Miranda Warnings (50 Years) – Landmark Cases – Episode # 8
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Your Miranda Warnings (50 Years) – Landmark Cases – Episode # 8


I hope this finds you well. In every episode
I’ve seen of the First 48 it seems like the suspect usually ends up confessing in some
way. and theres never an attorney in the room with them. Yet I have never heard the detectives
say “ you have the right to remain silent; anything you say can be used against you in
court; or you have the right to counsel; and the right to have counsel appointed. Over
the last fifty years these rights have been known as Miranda Warnings. Credit goes to
the First 48, whenever a suspect says they don’t want to talk anymore, the detectives
immediately stop the interrogation. This procedure is in perfect step with todays case, Miranda
v. Arizona. The case was decided, 1966 making this year
the 50th anniversary of the case. The vote was 5-4 in favor of Miranda and it is why
the police say what they do when you get pinched. Now if we could just get police to remind
you that you have the right to refuse a search all would be right in the world. SideNote: Theres a long line of cases dealing
with the particulars of police interrogation and Miranda Warnings that we will discuss
in later episodes so make sure you subscribe. Lets dig into the case. The question before the court was whether
the government can use statements obtained from a suspect when the suspect was not informed
of his or her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before they were interrogated? Said differently, does the police practice
of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection
against self-incrimination violate the Fifth Amendment? So heres what happened. Miranda was actually
four cases consolidated into one. Ernesto Miranda was suspected of kidnapping and rape.
Yet the police only had circumstantial evidence against him. He was turned into police by
his girlfriend and ultimately signed a confession. He was falsely told, during the interview
process, that he was identified in a lineup. He was not notified of his rights during that
interview, as well. Michael Vignera, was arrested for robbery.
Vignera orally admitted to the robbery to the first officer that arrested him, and he
was held in detention for eight hours before he made a full admission to a district attorney. Carl Westover was arrested for two robberies.
Westover was questioned over fourteen hours by local police, and then handed over to the
“FBI”. The FBI agents were able to get Westover to sign a confession. Roy Stewart, was arrested, along with members
of his family. It took 9 interrogations over 5 days before Stewart would confess. In none of the cases were suspects given full
warnings of their rights at the outset of their interrogation. All confessions were admitted at their trials.
All defendants were convicted. Miranda, the cases namesake, was sentenced to 20-30 years
in prison. Heres how we get to the Supreme Court. The defendants all appealed to higher courts
and their respective convictions were affirmed with exception of Stewart. Stewarts conviction
was reversed by the California Supreme Court. The U.S. supreme court granted certiorari
and combined the cases to resolve confusion among the lower courts relating to a supreme
court ruling two years prior to Miranda called Escobedo v. Illinois. Escobedo didn’t fully
outline what was required, hence the reason for the confusion among different courts. Chief Justice Warren authored the opinion,
eluding to a line of cases in which the court progressively dealt with improper interrogation
tactics. Chief Justice Warren stated: the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark
of an unconstitutional inquisition.” He went on to state that the government needs
to notify arrested individuals of their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights. Specifically:
their right to remain silent; an explanation that anything they say could be used against
them in court; their right to counsel; and their right to have counsel appointed to represent
them if necessary. Without this notification, anything admitted
to by a suspect in an interrogation will be inadmissible in court. Now the defendant may waive these rights,
provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. If, however, the individual indicates in any
manner at any stage of the interrogation or process that he or she wishes to consult with
an attorney before speaking, then there can be no questioning. Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates
in any manner that he or she does not wish to be interrogated, the police can not question
the individual. But wait, theres more. Just because the suspect
or defendant may have answered some questions or volunteered some statements on his or her
own, does not deprive them of the right to refrain from answering any further questions
until they have an attorney. Basically, once an individual chooses to remain
silent or asks to first see an attorney, any interrogation should cease. Furthermore, the
individual has the right to stop the interrogation at any moment. Ultimately, the court ruled prosecutors may
not use statements from interrogations, unless they can show that procedural safeguards where
used to protect the privilege against self-incrimination. Justice Harlan, Justice White, and Justice
Clark all wrote dissents in this case. Justice Harlan argued that the Fifth Amendment
rule against self-incrimination was never intended to forbid any and all pressures against
self-incrimination. Justice White argued that the court broadened
the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution to include the Miranda Warnings by ruling the
way that they did. And finally, Justice Clark argued that the
court was making a New rule. Similar to what Justice White was saying. Of course the case had a huge impact on the
criminal justice system. Miranda was retried for rape and kidnapping without his confession
used as evidence and again he was still sentenced to 20-30 years. He was released five years later on parole,
and became sort of a local celebrity, he autographed and sold the “Miranda cards” that police officers
used to verify that they had provided proper warnings to suspects. And he continued to
have run ins with the law. Of course not as large as the crimes he’s was convicted of.
But he still couldn’t keep his act together. Ultimately, Miranda was stabbed and killed
10 years after the supreme court ruling. A man named Ezequiel Moreno was suspected of
the stabbing but was never brought to justice. Thanks for watching.

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