The Court held that confessions excluded because of an absence of Miranda warnings could be used to impeach the credibility of a criminal defendant who takes the stand to testify.
When Vivan Harris was arrested for selling heroin, he made incriminating statements before he was properly informed of his constitutional rights, as required by Miranda v. Arizona (1966). At trial, Harris testified in his own defense, and the prosecutor impeached his credibility by referring to his statements at the time of arrest. On appeal, his counsel argued that any reference to the improperly obtained evidence was invalid. By a 5-4 vote, however, the Supreme Court disagreed. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger’s
Arizona v. Fulminante
Brown v. Mississippi
Due process, procedural
Miranda v. Arizona
Self-incrimination, immunity against