What Are Miranda’s Rights?

The other day I finally broke down to read about the Boston Marathon explosion suspect.  Cute kid!  Wacky!  But he is truly cute!

Well there were words and statements in the article I didn’t understand, such as Miranda’s rights and public safety something another.  So I decided to first research “Miranda” rights and later the “public safety exception.”

I knew and know when a person is apprehended for a crime the police always spout the following words:  “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”  Since, I really do try to live above the law and keep my distance from those that love to live below the law; I never knew how or why the procedure of giving a person their legal rights came about.  Therefore, not having knowledge of ‘Miranda’ rights and ‘public safety exception’ I was lost when reading and understanding why they did not give the Boston bombing suspect his ‘Miranda’ rights as legally required by law.  And, since, I don’t like being ignorant I began researching the subjects of interest.  Now I’m sharing a snip of what I learned about ‘Miranda’ rights with you.

Miranda Rights is a statement that should be given to a person after he/she are arrested, thus, protecting their Constitutional Rights according to the Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment.  And, again, the statement usually consists of the following words:  ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.’

MirandaThe Miranda Rights statement came about in 1966 after a man name Ernesto Miranda was arrested, by the Phoenix Police Department, on March 13, 1963 for kidnapping and raping a 17 year old girl.  Ignorant to his legal rights Miranda signed a confession stating he kidnapped and raped the 17 year old victim.  Upon his trial the information gathered from him during interrogation about the crime was used to sentence him.  He was given 20 to 30 year’s imprisonment on each criminal charge “with sentences to run concurrently.”  Miranda’s attorney appealed the court’s decision based upon his clients “confession was not fully voluntary.”

If the Phoenix Police Department had informed Miranda of his rights to remain silent or have an attorney present during questioning the interrogation could have, and no doubt would have, ceased based upon human nature; therefore, it is believe that most times during this period law enforcement purposely failed to tell suspects of such rights in order to obtain confessions.  As a result Miranda original case was thrown out of court and he was retried using eyewitness and later found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Ernesto Miranda was an interesting read.  After he was released from prison he died violently years later.  Sad.

FYI:  Did you know if you are ever arrested that you should never choose to be silent.  It makes people in the court of law think you are hiding something.  Yes!  Can you believe that?  Therefore, it is always better to ask to speak to your attorney even if you don’t have one, because the court will appoint one for you.

 

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