Miranda Rights and Warning



     These Miranda Rights evolved out of the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona (1966). The 5-4 majority ruled that incriminating statements or confessions could not be used in a court of law unless we first rescinded our rights and acknowledged that we fully understood them. The court based its decision on the interpretation of our Fifth Amendment constitutional right stating, in part, that we shall not be compelled to witness against ourselves, and on our Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

     The average citizen or first time offender will not know how to invoke his rights. Police procedure is not set up to make you aware of the crime that has occured, but instead to investigate to see if you are aware of any pertinent facts. People are often not told they are suspects in criminal cases, they are called an  - “investigative lead.” People are caught unaware under the facade of standard questioning that does not require the reading of your Miranda Rights. First, ask if you are under arrest. Second, ask if you are free to leave.   Leave.

     The United States Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Davis, 129 L. Ed. 2d 362, 114 S. Ct. 2350 (1994) “We therefore hold that, after a knowing and voluntary waiver of the Miranda rights, law enforcement officers may continue questioning until and unless the suspect clearly requests an attorney,” … “I wish to speak to an attorney.”



Law Enforcement variation on your Miranda Rights.

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and may be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to talk with a lawyer for advice,
     before we ask you any questions
     and to have him with you during questioning.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you
     before questioning.
If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present,
     you have the right to stop answering questions at any time
     until you talk to a lawyer.
Do you understand what I have read to you?
Will you answer my questions?


There are many variations of the warning. It is made up by each agency and the wording varies considerably.

On January 3, 2000, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled that intentional Miranda violations by police were sufficient grounds for a lawsuit.

The Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1968, section 3501, among other things, provides that “a confession … shall be admissible in evidence if it is voluntarily given.” The court authorities must believe, or feel confident, that a confession is made with a lack of coercion or pressure, or promises of leniency to be valid.

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Miranda was a confessed kidnapper and rapist set free because he didn't understand the judicial process. In a twist to his story, after Miranda was released and made a few more trips in and out of prison, he was stabbed to death in a bar. Ironically, the sole suspect exercised his Miranda Rights, and was released for lack of evidence. To this day, nobody has been convicted in Miranda's death.



A Citizen's variation on your Miranda Rights.

I know I have the right to remain silent.
I know that anything I say can and will be used against me in a court of law.
I know I have the right to talk with a lawyer for advice,
     before you ask me any questions and
     to have him with me during questioning.
I know that if I cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for me
     before questioning.
I know that if I decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present,
     I have the right to stop answering questions at any time
     until I talk to a lawyer.
I understand these rights.
I will not answer your questions.



Copyright  ©  2004  ·  Barry A. Kintner  ·  A2Z Computer Works  ·  Phoenix, Arizona