On March 1, 1966, the case of Miranda v. Arizona was argued in the Supreme Court, and was decided on June 13, 1966. The issue was that prior to the time of arrest and any interrogation of a person suspected of a crime, he/she must be told that he/she has: “the right to remain silent, the right to legal counsel, and the right to be told that anything he/she says can be used in court against” him/her.
Also, if the accused person confesses to the authorities, the prosecution must prove to the judge that the defendant was informed of them and knowingly waived those rights, before the confession can be introduced in the defendant’s criminal trial. The warnings are known as Miranda Rights. Although there are crusades against Miranda rights suggesting that it significantly harmed law enforcement efforts in this country. The Miranda rights have its advantages and should remain its continuum because of ample amount of false convictions and to stop abuse of power.
Many argue that the cost of Miranda rights outweighs the benefits. Advocates of letting Miranda go, main arguments are over the number of lost confessions. To them it’s the belief that fewer people will confess if police warn them of their right to silence. Advocates would say that this procedure allows dangerous criminals back into the street. But, based on small percentages, it has been argued that Miranda rights have had only a minimal effect on law enforcement. This warning statement has been in place for years and has been met with extreme success. “It revolutionized criminal interrogations and was part of a larger revolution in the nature of both the Supreme Court and the federal system generally.” This decision took power out of the hands of law officials and placed it in the hands of judges. Before confessions were being obtained by coercion and police brutality. “What has proven to be a problem is the exclusionary rule feature of Miranda. That is the feature that throws out perfectly voluntary confession” Paul Cassell.
It’s odd that this controversy has even arisen, because the Miranda Rights works for both sides. It gives the police a clear set of rules to follow. It makes it easier to admit confessions at trial, as long as the police obey the rules. It is fair to defendants because it informs them of their rights. It protects the basic fifth amendment right against self- incrimination. Miranda rights in the twentieth century has reduced police misconduct, preserved our independence, avoid false confessions and just overall is fair.
It is the belief that these rights are of the utmost importance to every American citizen. We must decide on the constitutionality of these rights as critics of the constitution as well as people who may be affected by our own decisions. They must do a more thorough job so as to avoid unnecessary pain and disruption to lives of people who may be falsely accused and to be absolutely sure that they have the right person in custody. Not being aware of your rights is like being thrown into the driver’s seat of a car having no idea as to which pedal is the accelerator and which is the brake. The problem with this way of thinking is that these people are not just suspects in a crime; they are people and should be treated as such. Miranda warnings are a safety net. Here, the court ruled that suspects have the right to remain silent and that prosecutors may not use statements made by suspects in police custody, unless they have been informed of their rights first. These advisements have kept innocent people out of prison and therefore not only saved the lives and futures of those people and their families but also saved this country a significant amount of money that can be put to use elsewhere. There are laws that 90% of the country is unaware of. The Supreme Court is now in the process of hearing arguments, and reviewing cases to decide if the Miranda rights are really constitutional, and therefore, enforceable. Some believe that it is not required to recite this warning when a suspect is arrested, rather it is required when and if the police decide to interrogate the suspect. It is the privilege of that suspect to either wave these rights or to remain silent and request that a lawyer be present at all times. The consequences were seen in Smith v. Illinois in which Smith was arrested for armed robbery, he was taken to an interrogation room and read his rights under Miranda v. Arizona.
When officials asked whether he understood his right to a lawyer and to have a lawyer present during the questioning, he replied: “Uh, yeah. I’d like to do that.” However, rather than stop the interrogation to meet Smiths request, the interrogating officers continued the interrogation; ultimately, he made incriminating statements. Smith’s motion to suppress the statements was denied, and he was convicted of armed robbery. His conviction was affirmed by both the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court, which held that his responses to continued police questioning made his initial request for a lawyer ambiguous and that the officers therefore were not required to terminate their questioning. Once Smith clearly stated he did want a lawyer all other questions shouldn’t have been asked afterward. This case brings up a strong point that not enough suspects use their right to cut off questioning after it has begun. This in fact is an important Miranda decision.
Despite the fact that some people argue against it, in many others view It serves its purpose and we should also be reminded that the Miranda rights prevents self-incrimination in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution