U. S. Supreme Court case
The United States Supreme Court was established according to Article III of the Constitution of the United States in 1789. It is the highest federal court in the United States and has the final, decisive decision along with its appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is invoked to observe the U. S. Constitution and the Amendments to it.
A flamboyant example and a landmark about the role of the U. S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court) is Miranda v. Arizona (384 U. S. 436 (1966) case. In this case, the Supreme Court consolidated four, independent from each other, separate cases. The common between them was the fact that the all four defendants were not notified about their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights after they were arrested, but still not interrogated. According to the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, in connection to this case, is stated that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” and anybody “should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process.” (Fifth Amendment to the U. S Constitution)
The first Defendant, in Miranda v. Arizona case, was Ernesto Miranda, an immigrant, who was arrested for kidnapping and rape of a fifteen old girl. After two hours interrogation, he signed a confession, although he was not notified of his rights to remain silent by the officers who arrested him. He was not notified about his rights in the police department before the interrogation. His confession included a statement that he was aware of his constitutional rights.
The second defendant was Michael Vignera (Michael Vignera v. State of New York) who was arrested for robbery. He admitted for the robbery to the first officer, after the arrest, but did it orally. He was detained for eight hours. He made a confession to an assistant district attorney. There was no evidence that he was notified of his constitutional rights.
The third Defendant was Carl Calvin Westover (Westover v. United States). He was arrested for two robberies. He had been interrogated for over fourteen hours local police officers and then he was handed to the agents of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The agents succeeded to obtain a signed confession from him, but they did not notify him of his rights.
The fourth Defendant was Roy Allen Stewart (State of California v. Roy Allen Stewart). His family, including him, was arrested for number of purse snatches nevertheless that there were no evidence of wrongdoing. After nine interrogations, he confessed to the crimes but once again, there was no evidence that he was notified of his rights.
The issue of the case is, if the law enforcement officials have the right to interrogate defendants before they are notified of their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights.
The opinion of the Court was delivered by Chief Justice Warren. Held: The law enforcement officials should notify the arrested intruders of their Fifth Amendment constitutional rights, particularly, their right to remain silent. They should give an explanation that anything they say could be used against then in court. They should know that they have right to council and a council should be appointed to represent them where it is necessary. Without the notification, anything confessed by a defendant during the investigation will not be admitted in court. The rule of preliminary notification of the intruder of his Fifth Amendment constitutional rights should be applied to every case of arrest before further investigation and interrogation.
The majority was accused, by the dissenting justices, of overreacting to the interrogation problem. They emphasized on the fact that in this way, all the arrested criminals will decide to remain silent and the law enforcement officers will not gain confessions.
Justice Tom Clark objected that the Clauses of the due process of the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution should be applied only to interrogations. He assumes that there is no need of new rule to be applied as the majority finds during the process.
Justice John Harlan wrote the second dissent where he disputes that the Fifth Amendment Rule against self-incrimination was never foreseen as a prohibition any or all pressures against self-incrimination.
Justice Byron White underlined that there was no historical support for the extension of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution to include the rights that the majority widens in their decision. He summarized that the majority is making new law with their holding.
After the disputed case against him was thrown out, Miranda was retried. The prosecution, instead of using the confession, called new witnesses who had testified that he had committed the crime and provided new evidence. Miranda was convicted in 1967. He was sentenced to serve 20 to 30 years. The other three defendants, whose cases were consolidated with Miranda’s, were also convicted on the basis of new evidence and witnesses. The law enforcement officials were required to notify the arrested people of their rights under the ruling. The notification was termed Miranda warning and the rights of the notification were called Miranda rights.
Miranda v. Arizona 384 U. S. 436 (1966)
United States Constitution, Web.
Vignera v. State of New York, Web., Decided 1966, June
Westover v. United States, Web, Decided 1966, June