Miranda v. Arizona

Mirandav. Arizona

ClaudettP Hillotero

ColumbiaSouthern University


The was a civil rights court case that took place inthe year 1966. The defendant was arrested by Phoenix police andinterrogated for 2 hours. While in the police custody, the defendantsigned a confession charge to the rape charges.

Ido hereby swear that I make this statement voluntarily and of my freewill, with no threats, coercion, or promises of immunity, and withfull knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I makemay be used against me.”(Miranda,1963)

However,the police did not inform the defendant his right to counsel. Also,he was not offered advice on his right to be silent, and anythingthat he say or writes shall be used in court against him as evidence.At court proceedings, the prosecution used the written confession asevidence. The defendant’s attorney objected the use of theevidence, but the court overruled him and went ahead to convictMiranda. Miranda’s attorney not contended appealed the ruling withthe Supreme Court of the United States on accounts of violations ofMiranda’s civil rights(, 1966).

SupremeCourt Proceedings’ Summaries (, 1966)


Inthe Supreme Court, the prosecutor argued on the fact that Miranda wasmade aware of his rights that the evidence will be used against himin the written portion of the statement. The signing of the documentby Miranda indicates that he was knowledgeable of his legal rightsdespite his education level and background. Therefore, it will belogical for the state to hold that Miranda knew what he had stated tohave done and all his rights. Also, the prosecutor stated that thedefendant made the confession on free will, and he was not compelledto make the confession statement and that the defendant did notrequest for an attorney.


Thedefendant attorney argued his case by calling into attention themental and educational capacity of Miranda to understand his legalrights. He added that Miranda was never advised of the right toCounsel and the right to remain silent. In absent of these rights andthe police being aware of them and not advising Miranda compelled himto make the self-incriminating statement. The petitioner thus invokedthe 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment of the Constitution.

MajorityOpinion (5-4)

Itwas held that without clear safeguards, the method of in-custodyinterrogation of people accused or suspected of crimes contains anessentially convincing pressure which works to undercut the person’swillpower to resist and compel him to communicate where he would nototherwise do. To avoid these pressures and to permit a full chanceto exercise the sovereignty against self-incrimination, the defendantmust be sufficiently made conscious of his rights and the applicationof those rights needs to be fully honored.

Indealing with the confession obtain in the interrogation, the Courtstated that any evidence not barred by Fifth Amendment obtainedfreely and voluntarily without persuasive influences are admissibleas evidence.


JohnMarshall Harlan felt that the Court opinion revealed no sufficientgrounds for extending the Fifth Amendment benefits touchingself-incrimination to the police station. He felt that the confessionwas fairly and legitimately obtained, and the Court should notsacrifice the efforts of police in the name of fairness.

FifthAmendment in Relation to Miranda V. Arizona

TheDefendant invoked the Amendment, which states that no person shall becompelled to self-incriminate by being a witness in his case. TheCourt decision was reached on majority opinion that the circumstancessurrounding the signing of the confession compelled Miranda toincriminate himself and thus not signed on free will.

SixAmendments in Relation to Miranda V. Arizona

Theamendment clause used in this case was the right to counsel. Thiscivil right requires that any accused person has the right tocounsel. Miranda had to have been provided with counsel who wouldhave advised Miranda on the actions to take. So the police not makingMiranda aware of this right gave the defense an argument upon whichthe Court made their ruling.


Inmy opinion, from the perspective of Prosecutor, I feel that the Courtdecision did not take into consideration the future effects of thisdecision. The confession was made on a voluntary basis, and nocoercion was used. In this case, it was not compelling to make such aruling. The judicial system was put in place to uphold Justice. Butthis ruling disadvantages the innocents or the victims of crime andincreases the risks of letting more criminal out of the jaws ofjustice. Also, when the state provides an attorney at the expense oftaxpayer instead of fairness and equity prevailing we are keeping atbay the criminal by providing them with ways to get off the hook ofjustice. When did ignorance become defense? Let those who want toconfess to confess.

Secondlyproviding an accused person who is willing to confess a right tocounsel and he does not confess on the advice of the counsel and theywin the case due to insufficient evidence what justice have weprovided to the victim. The Justice was created on the principle oftruth but if we deny that truth due to formalities whose interest arewe serving?

Myopinion regarding the defendant position, the Constitution providesthat the accused person have the right to counsel and should not becompelled to give self-increment statements. It is our responsibilityto uphold all the civil rights of every person under the Constitutionprovisions. The general principle of justice is fairness and equityto all, whether a criminal or not he is a human being and he shouldbe accorded all the rights provided by the constitution. Thus why, ifsomeone cannot afford an attorney the government provides one so thatthe accused won’t be disadvantaged.


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Oyez.(n.d.). . Retrieved fromhttps://www.oyez.org/cases/1965/759