• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a man who had not been informed of his right to remain silent and to have counsel appointed for him. It also created guidelines for the police in advising suspects of their rights.

Chief Justice Earl WarrenWarren, Earl;Miranda v. Arizona[Miranda v. Arizona] delivered the 5-4 majority decision holding that Ernesto Miranda had his constitutional rights denied him when he was interrogated by police at the station. The officers failed to warn him that he had a right to remain silent, to know what he said could be used against him, to have an attorney, and to have an attorney appointed for him if he could not afford one. Miranda made statements harmful to himself, then confessed to the crime and was convicted. Before the Miranda ruling, his confession would not have been regarded as coerced and therefore inadmissible.Miranda rights[case]Miranda v. Arizona[Miranda v. Arizona]Self-incrimination, immunity against;Miranda v. Arizona[Miranda v. Arizona]Counsel, right to;Miranda v. Arizona[Miranda v. Arizona]

Two years earlier in Malloy v. Hogan[case]Malloy v. Hogan[Malloy v. Hogan] (1964), the Court mandated that states provide guarantees against self-incrimination in their criminal court proceedings and extended through dicta the need for the protection of the accused in police custody. In Miranda, Warren spelled out in some detail the requirements for protecting suspects over the objections of the four dissenting justices. Although he did not mandate the exact words of the Miranda warning, Warren did say what needed to be done to eliminate what the Court perceived as police abuse of the earlier “voluntary” confession rule. He stated that suspects must be given the following four warnings, although not necessarily in these exact words: You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can and will be used against you; you have the right to talk to a lawyer before being questioned and to have him or her present when being questioned; and if you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will provide one for you before questioning begins if you so desire.

Miranda was the most advanced step the Court took in defending those accused of crimes, and it provoked an outpouring of criticism that the Court was soft on crime. At the same time, scholars and others charge that the opinion did not go far enough in defending the rights of the accused. On balance, no hard evidence exists that law enforcement is less effective because of Miranda, but some Court decisions have restricted Miranda, and some possibility of its being overturned exists.

American Civil Liberties Union

Bill of Rights

Counsel, right to

Escobedo v. Illinois

Gideon v. Wainwright

Malloy v. Hogan

Miranda rights

Self-incrimination, immunity against

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