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Miranda vs. Arizona

Few events have altered the course of American legal practice more than the 1963 rape and kidnapping conviction of Ernesto Miranda.The primary evidence against him was a signed confession he made while in police custody.However, the grounds on which that confession was obtained began a heated debate on the rights of the accused and prompted a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision.
On March 3, 1963, an 18-year-old girl was assailed by a man she described as a Mexican, in his late 20’s, who was driving an early fifties car.By chance, one week later, the girl and her brother-in-law saw what they believed was the car, and it was registered to Ernesto Miranda.At this time, Miranda had a long history of emotional instability and criminal behavior including a one-year jail term for attempted rape.
At police headquarters Miranda was placed in a line-up with three other Mexicans of similar stature, and while the victim did not positively identify Miranda, she said he bore the closest resemblance to her attacker.Detectives Carroll Cooley and Wilfred Young then took Miranda into an interrogation room.While in the room, Miranda was told that he had been positively identified, and he was asked whether he wanted to make a statement.Two hours later Miranda signed a written confession.At the top of the confession was a typed paragraph stating that the confession was made voluntarily, without threats or promises of immunity and “with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me.”
At his trial before a jury, the written confession was admitted into evidence over the objection of defense counsel, and the officers testified to the prior oral confession made by Miranda during the interrogation.Consequently, on June 27, 1963, Ernesto Miranda was convicted and sentenced to 20 to 30 years’ imprisonment on each count, the sentences to run concurrently.On appeal, the Supreme Cou…

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