Miranda Vs Arizona
Miranda vs Arizona was a 1966 case that was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The facts of the case were that three years earlier in1963, one Ernest Miranda was accused of kidnapping and raping an 18 year old lady. While under police custody the accused also confessed as having participated in robbery and having attempted to rape. These confessions were adduced as evidence by the prosecution during the trial of Miranda. Based on this and other evidence adduced during the trial, Miranda was sentenced to imprisonment of 20 to thirty years on the separate charges with sentences running concurrently.
The counsel to the accused appealed to the Supreme Court but the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the trial court. Several legal issues emerged during the appeal of Miranda. To begin with the Supreme Court emphasized the rights that an accused person has while in custody. In their argument, the judges of the Supreme Court made reference to the 5th and the sixth clauses where self incriminating evidence by an accused person is not admissible unless otherwise stated.
Again immediately when arrested or within a reasonable period of time after arrest an accused person ought to be informed of their rights and the person informing them of such rights must ensure that they understand correctly. The rights of an accused person include the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent and the right not to accept any kind of interrogations unless in the presence of his attorney or under clear legal guidance from such attorney. The accused person must further be notified that should he choose to talk, then anything he says can and will be used against him or her during their trial in a court of law.
Since this decision, the police officers are required to be very keen and inform the accused persons of their rights immediately when in custody.
Burgan Michael (2006). The Rights of an Accused Person. London, Compass Point Books. The book explain in an in depth form the concept behind the rights of an accused which is a legal protection or an accused person.
Samaha Joel (2005) Criminal Justice. New York. Thomson Wadsworth. The author has in this book brought out a very important concept on the issues of the rights of an accused person while in custody. It gives the students a good overview of what is required during the trial of an accused person.
Stuart Gary L (2004) The Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent. London University of Arizona Press. The author has brought clearly one of the legal issues that emerged during the trial of Miranda which is the right to remain silent. This issue has always been controversial especially in most criminal matters.