Sunday, June 13, 2010

'You Have the Right to Remain Silent'

On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court handed down the decision mandating law enforcement agencies read a person their "Miranda" rights upon arrest. Before this decision people were arrested and interrogated with little restraint on law enforcement. These were named Miranda rights after Ernesto Arturo Miranda who was arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape in 1963. After two hours of interrogation he signed a confession to the rape charge without ever being told he had a right to counsel.

He was convicted of rape and kidnapping, sentenced to 20-30 years for each count although his court-appointed attorney objected to the confession being used during the trial. The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court and in 1966 the Miranda warning was mandated by the high court in a 5-4 decision.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.

Read more about Miranda v. Arizona


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