Saturday, April 1, 2017

A is for Arizona



Miranda v Arizona
[June 13, 1966, decision 5-4]

Ernesto Miranda was arrested and questioned by police regarding an accusation that he had kidnapped and raped a woman.    The US Supreme Court heard this case, along with three other, similar cases, where criminal defendants were questioned by police.  The defendants argued they could not invoke their right to remain silent [5th amendment] and their right to an attorney [6th amendment] if they were not even aware of those rights.

The court ruled that criminal suspects must be advised of their rights prior to custodial interrogation.  Otherwise the defendant's responses are not admissible at trial.

Miranda's conviction, obtained by introducing his oral and written confessions as evidence at trial, was overturned.  He was re-tried, without the confessions, and still convicted and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison.

I spent probably 3-4 entire weeks of my law school experience on this one case.  MUST HAVE (1) CUSTODIAL (2) INTERROGATION.  Custody – the person is under the control of the police and is not free to leave.  Most traffic stops do NOT meet this standard.  There are lots of nuances.  I must have read at least 15 cases interpreting exactly what “in custody” means.  Interrogation – police must be asking questions.  Not just making statements, engaging in conversation, etc.  Again, lots of nuances and I must have read at least 15 cases interpreting exactly what “interrogation” means.

Here is the basic required warning, altho each jurisdiction [state, county, city] can have its own variation, as long as it includes the basic requirements.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
 

If the suspect indicates he will speak with officers, most of the time he is asked to sign a statement to that effect before he is questioned.

Berghuis v. Thompkins (2010) - The right to remain silent does not exist unless a suspect invokes it unambiguously.  Silence during the interrogation does not invoke the right to remain silent. 

Salinas v. Texas (2013) - A witness or suspect cannot invoke the privilege by simply standing mute; he or she must expressly invoke it.  This means if a person wants to invoke his right to remain silent, he must specifically state he is invoking that right.  If he does, then the state cannot comment at trial that he refused to answer the question.

Bottom line – If you are NOT in custody, but police ask you questions, police don't have to read you your rights.  If police are NOT questioning you, but you are in custody, police don't have to read you your rights.  So, just because they are NOT reading you your rights, doesn't necessarily mean you can talk and they can't use it against you, or that you can remain silent and they can't comment on it.  Voluntary statements and voluntary silence are admissible at trial.  If in doubt, keep your mouth shut, say you are invoking your right to remain silent, and ask for a lawyer.



Did you guess right?
Here's Monday's hint - B is for Bakke.  Can you guess the case and what it's about?  Leave a comment!

28 comments:

  1. Hi Dena! I will be following along on your case posts. It will be interesting.

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    1. Thank you for following. Hopefully they will remain interesting for the entire month.

      =)

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  2. This is an awesome theme -- I'm totally hooked.

    "Silence during the interrogation does not invoke the right to remain silent." << Not sure I ever even thought of that. Good to know!

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    1. Glad you're hooked! Yep, good info to know.

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  3. Very interesting. I bet Ernesto wasn't very happy to be convincted again. http://jeanddavis.blogspot.com/2017/04/a-to-z-adverb-elimiation.html?m=1

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    1. Yep, I bet he thought he'd get off =)

      But apparently the police had enough evidence even WITHOUT the confession.

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  4. Wow your posts are going to be quite epic, I think! That being said, I've followed a few appeals court cases, and read a lot of documents over the past few years. I learned to use PACER back in 2014 while following Lavabit V. United States which was a Fourth Circuit case. If you aren't aware of that whole thing, it's pretty much everywhere if you look it up.

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    1. Yep, that case is pretty much everywhere. Not sure I would call my posts "epic", but I like the thought. Thanks!

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  5. So intersting to read the actual law behind a statement that we hear so often in tv show.

    A great start to your challenge.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

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    1. Yep, they're called Miranda warnings for a reason =)

      Now I'm off to read your page....

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  6. I had NO IDEA. But it makes perfect sense that there was a person named Miranda back in the day. Ernesto Miranda. Well, that name is sure gonna get tossed into my WIP now.

    This was great, Dena. I'm glad you stopped because my family is coming over and I have to barbecue, but I woulda kept on reading till the doorbell rang. Great stuff.

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    1. ACK! There's a dead guy commenting on my blog!

      But seriously, poor Ernesto is gonna have more to his life story in your WIP? Or is he the one you're gonna barbecue today?

      Have a great April!

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  7. This is interesting. I will be following.

    My theme is all about baby boomers and those years we grew up. Grab some cookies and milks and come on over. Atomic Bombs

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    1. Glad you find it interesting. I'll hop on over to your blog and check you out. Atomic bombs???? Ack!

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  8. I love this post. I am so looking forward to all your posts. This is quite educational. So now we all know where Miranda rights come from.

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    1. Glad to be educational. Yep, this is where it all started.

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  9. Yep, I DID guess right! Will wonders never cease? Imagine that. B... I bet it has to do with something with the initials A.A.?

    Calen~
    A to Z Challenge Letter A

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    1. Congrats! Come back Monday to see if you're right for B.

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  10. This looks to be a very interesting theme. I never actually knew where Miranda originated. The Bakke case resonated around Michigan more recently in another lawsuit.

    @msdeniseh553
    Denise at My Life in Retirement Atlantic Wall

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    1. Apparently this means you know my case for Monday. I'll congratulate you in advance. Congrats!

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  11. I never thought about all the nuances that go into something like Miranda rights. That's really cool to know (and helpful for me as a write so I can be more realistic!).

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    1. Yep, lots of nuances. And the rights have been eroded in recent cases, so they're still in the news even today.

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  12. Oh this is interesting. I find the legal system to be maddeningly frustrating, but it is fascinating.

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    1. I agree with you on the frustrating part. Not sure about the fascinating part lol =)

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  13. Really interesting facts and at least now I know that if I ever fall foul of the law I know to keep my mouth shut. Looking forward to the rest of the month.

    Days of Fun

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    1. Yep, that's a good strategy. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Wow. Thank you for clarifying this subject. I enjoy precise information, and you certainly provide it! Happy A to Z!

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    1. Glad I was able to be precise for you! Thanks for commenting.

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