The Miranda v. Arizona (384 U. S. 436) case was considered as a landmark case because it has remarkably changed the criminal justice system particularly on interrogation process. Through the Miranda decision, many cases have been overturned. Basically, the Miranda case was relevant in outlining the rights of the accused and the responsibilities of the police officers in informing the accused of his rights before drawing admissions from him. It also provided the necessary link on the Fifth Amendment, particularly on the right against self- incrimination (384 U. S.
436). Basically, the case involved a conviction of the accused in crimes including rape and kidnapping from an admission given during an interrogation process. Although the written statement was signed by Miranda, the Supreme Court found flaw in the process. The Supreme Court held that the admissions that led to Miranda’s conviction were illegally obtained because he was not informed of his basic rights to remain silent and to counsel before the questioning occurred. Meanwhile, interrogation is a process whereby the accused is questioned on his involvement in a crime.
In the case of Miranda, he was questioned by police officers without informing him of his right to remain silent and to counsel. His statements were then introduced by the prosecution as evidences that led to his conviction. Hence, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the lower court. In the Supreme Court’s decision, several rights have been raised including the bill of rights. However, the issue is centered on the Fifth Amendment specifically on the right against self-incrimination.
According to the court, the use of evidences taken outside the Constitutional procedure amounts to self-incrimination. Thus, the statement of Miranda taken without informing him of his rights is inadmissible as evidence. In addition, the Supreme Court concluded that “in-custody interrogation is psychologically rather than physically oriented” (384 U. S. 436). More importantly, the relevance of the presence of a counsel will ensure that the accused understands well the gravity of his statement (384 U. S. 436).
Since the inculcation of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and the handing of the decision in the Miranda case, many cases have been decided considering these rights as part of the due process. The rights of the accused include not only those contained in the Bill of Rights but also those known as the Miranda rights. Through the Bill of Rights, the foundation of the rights of the accused has been strongly established. On the other hand, the Miranda case has become a jurisprudence laying down the rules and conditions of the investigation.
Both contained the rights of the accused and the responsibilities of the police officers and the prosecution. Both have also been directed in upholding of due process of law. In addition, through the balance of the power of the government and the right of an individual, due process is ensured. While the government may investigate a person or an accused, it must respect the Constitutional rights of the accused. At present, there are laws that seem to undermine the basic rights of the citizens. During this situation, the Bill of Rights and the Miranda case plays a vital role.
Furthermore, the Bill of Rights has been provided as a weapon of the accused from arbitrary and unfair actions or procedures that the government may take. The Miranda case, on the other hand, ensures that no conviction can be handed down through the ignorance of the accused as to his Constitutional rights. Hence, the Bill of Rights and the Miranda would continue to serve as a weapon and shield of the citizens against abuses of any law and government agencies. Reference Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 (1966).
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Topic: Miranda vs Arizona
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