If you or someone you know has been arrested or if you have questions concerning your legal rights, contact the Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyers of the Law Offices of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos to discuss your case and devise the best way of defending your freedom.
Background of Miranda Rights
In the early 1960s, a man named Edward Miranda was arrested in Arizona on rape charges. He then confessed to robbery and attempted rate when questioned by police. During the trial, the prosecutors used only his confession as evidence of the crimes and Mr. Miranda was convicted. He was to serve 2 concurrently running sentences of 20-30 years. Unfortunately, Mr. Miranda was never informed of his right to counsel or his right to remain silent. The case was eventually heard by the Supreme Court in 1966.
Following the arguments of both sides, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, decided that criminal suspects must be informed of their rights prior to being questioned by the police. These rights include the right to remain silent, which protects from self incrimination, and the right to legal counsel.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was a former prosecutor, delivered the majority opinion of the court and felt that due to the coercive nature of custodial police interrogations, no confession could be admissible under the fifth amendment’s self incrimination clause and the sixth amendment’s right to an attorney clause unless the suspect had been made aware of his rights and the suspect had proceeded to waive these rights.
While reading the majority opinion, Justice Warren cited police training manuals that informed police officers of how to conduct a custodial interrogation. This was a highly controversial matter.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, the case was re-tried in Arizona. Mr. Miranda was again found guilty but this time the prosecution used witnesses and other forms of evidence. He was convicted and served an 11 year prison sentence. Following his release, he was killed in a bar fight. The suspect in that case exercised his right to remain silent and the case was never solved.