Miranda v Arizona

In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), Ernesto Miranda was arrested for kidnapping and raping a young woman near Phoenix, Arizona.  He was questioned at the police station for two hours and confessed.  During this time, there was no indication of any misconduct by police and Miranda never requested for an attorney.  Following his confession, he was appointed an attorney, paid for by the government, because he was poor, he was found guilty and sent to jail for twenty to thirty years.  Along with his confession, there was evidence against him which aided in his conviction.  However, he was able to acquire new attorneys with defended him using a different approach.  His attorneys argued that the “entire interrogation process is so inherently coercive that any individual will eventually break down”(Miranda v. Arizona, 532) and advocated for the Court to add protections to protect one’s right against self-incrimination.

Reading this case reminds me of a scene in the movie 21 Jump Street, which I attached belowThe main characters were beginning their careers as police officers and caught a drug criminal; however, they forgot to read the convict accused his miranda rights and had to release him.  Although it is a fictional and comedic storyline, the scene showed the importance of these rights.  If an officer forgot to state the miranda rights, all of the hard work they put in to enforcing the law would essentially be for nothing.

In this case, there was, luckily, enough evidence to convict Miranda, even without his confession.  It would be extremely frustrating if he was set free, even though he was obviously guilty.  As a country which highly values individual’s rights, I believe the miranda rights are extremely important to serve as a reminder; especially because those arrested tend to be less educated in the justice system.  However, I think it seems extreme to have a confession or arrest completely thrown out because the criminal, who already has less rights being arrested, was not given this courtesy.  In emergencies, one’s rights are not required to be reminded to them, so it’s interesting how vital it is that these are when being arrested.

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