Ernesto Miranda-vs.-Arizona: The Miranda Rights Warnings
In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona for armed robbery, kidnapping, and raping a slightly retarded eighteen-year-old woman. While he was in police custody he signed a written confession to the crime. After the conviction, his lawyers appealed on the grounds that Miranda did not know he was protected from self-incrimination (Gribben, 2001).
Does the police practice of interrogating individuals without notifying them of their right to counsel and their protection against self-incrimination violate the Fifth Amendment? The Fifth Amendment states, "No person shall he held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived life, liberty, and property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation (Murphy, 2002).
The witness for the prosecution was Patty MeGee, her sister, officers Cooley and Young, and Miranda's own written confession was the sole item entered into evidence. No witnesses were presented on Ernesto's behalf (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2001). When Miranda's attorney started reviewing the case he felt that an insanity defense would be appropriate and filed a notice of his strategy one day before the case was set for trial. Over the next several weeks, Miranda net with a psychiatrist for the defense and the state,
who eventually told the court that Miranda was at least fit to stand trial. The reports forced Moore to abandon his insanity defense claim. The case was se