Miranda v. Arizona (1966) was a landmark case that led to the protections afforded suspects against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the constitution being clearly spelt out and extended. Though this right had constitutional protection beforehand, the Warren court held that while confessions made while in police custody may be superficially voluntary, the environment in such a scenario may, in fact, compel a suspect to confess. The Court held that "the modern practice of in-custody interrogation is psychologically rather than physically oriented" and that "the blood of the accused is not the only hallmark of an unconstitutional inquisition (Miranda, 1966). The court, in the majority opinion, thus set out rules designed to dispel this aspect of compulsion. The police had to advise suspects of their rights upon arrest. These right included the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The suspects were also to be advised that anything they said could and would be used against them in court and that if they could not afford to retain an attorney, the state would provide one for them (Miranda, 1966). In the absence of the Miranda warning, statements made by a suspect were, in general, inadmissible. The ruling also clarified that a suspect could invoke their rights at any time irrespective of whether they had waived them earlier.
In a subsequent ruling on the Fifth Amendment cases specifically to do with the Miranda rights, the Supreme Court fine-tuned the law. In (Michigan, 1975), the Supreme Court ruled on the correct procedure regarding the termination and resumption of questioning. In this case, the court held that the respondent had received an adequate break before resumption of questioning which invalidated the argument that the police were trying to wear down his resistance. Moreover, the questioning was on a different matter, at a different location and he had been fully advised of his rights. The police as, required, ceased interrogation on the initial counts upon Mosley’s invocation of the right to counsel.
The invocation of counsel as a sixth amendment right was further explained in (Edwards, 1981) where the suspect had invoked his right to counsel and interrogation was suspended. The next day, police officers came and interrogated him on the same count without the suspect having had the benefit of legal representation. He made a confession and was convicted. In the ruling upon appeal, the Supreme Court held:
(a) A waiver of the right to counsel, once invoked, not only must be voluntary, but also must constitute a knowing and intelligent relinquishment of a known right or privilege. Here, however, the state courts applied an erroneous standard for determining waiver by focusing on the voluntariness of petitioner's confession, rather than on whether he understood his right to counsel and intelligently and knowingly relinquished it (Edwards, 1981).
(b) When an accused has invoked his right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation, a valid waiver of that right cannot be established by showing only that he responded to police-initiated interrogation after being again advised of his rights. An accused, such as petitioner, having expressed his desire to deal with the police only through counsel, is not subject to further interrogation until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused has himself initiated further communication, exchanges, or conversations with the police (Edwards, 1981).
Elaboration on these principles occurred in (United States, 1998) where a suspect invoked his right to remain silent. The interrogation ceased but resumed a few hours later in a room where crime scene photos were plastered on the walls. The police prodded him into breaking down and giving a confession. The court held that the confession was inadmissible because the officers had not “scrupulously honored” his invocation of the right to remain silent (Tyler, 1998)
In the latest Fifth Amendment case, the court ruled that a suspect must invoke his right to remain silent in order to acquire its protection. The privilege was adjudged to not be self-executing. The officers were, therefore, under no obligation to cease their questioning. Moreover, the ruling introduced the idea that a suspect’s silence on a certain question under custodial interrogation can be interpreted to suggest guilt (Salinas, 2013).
In conclusion, the Supreme Court continues to develop rules regarding the various aspects of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments by interpreting the constitution. In view of what has gone in the last few cases, Miranda v. Arizona could be up for reversal.
Edwards v. Arizona. 451 U.S. 477. (1981). Retrieved from http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/451/477/case.html
Michigan v. Mosley, 423 U.S. 96, 104, 96 S. Ct. 321, 46 L. Ed. 2d 313 (1975). http://www.criminal-defense-network.com/a-suspect-may-waive-his-right-to-remain-silent-after-invoking-it
Miranda v. Arizona. 384 U. S. 436. (1966). Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/384/436
Salinas v. Texas. 133 U. S. Ct. 2174. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-246_7l48.pdf
U.S. v. Tyler. 164 F.3d 150, 155. (3d Cir. 1998). Retrieved from http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/967776.txt