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Compare and contrast the Right to Remain Silent in the US and the UK - Essay Example

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Silence: Louder than Words Abraham Lincoln once said “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” With all the hype over the first amendment’s freedom of speech, it appears Abraham was onto something to consider remaining silent a freedom to be esteemed in its own right…
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Compare and contrast the Right to Remain Silent in the US and the UK
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Download file to see previous pages On March 13th 1963 Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Arizona and taken to the Phoenix Police Station where he was then identified by the complaint-filing witness. Without being notified of his rights, Miranda was led into the interrogation room and questioned by police officers. In two hour’s time the officers had succeeded in obtaining a written and signed confession from Miranda. The signed statement claimed he signed it “with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me.” When the case went to trial the prosecution used Miranda’s statement of confession against him and despite objections from the defense, the judge allowed for the confession to be admitted as evidence. Miranda appealed and the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled his rights were not violated because Miranda never requested council to be present during questioning. Miranda’s case went before the Supreme Court who acknowledged Miranda was never informed of his right to council or the right he had not to “be compelled to incriminate himself.” The Supreme Court ruled since Miranda did not have full knowledge of his rights all statements made by Miranda were inadmissible in court since they were not legally received. Furthermore the Supreme Court justified that since interrogation is intimidating, a suspect must first be given their rights to lessen the intimidation they experience. The Miranda Rights must be read before a suspect is to be questioned or interrogated in any way. The Miranda rights are read as followed: “You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do you understand? Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand? You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. Do you understand? If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. Do you understand? If you do decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney. Do you understand? Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?” (essortment.com) The 5th Amendment to the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights is “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself or be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The 6th Amendment Right to Counsel Clause coincides with the 5th intricately and was instituted in 1964 from the case of Escobedo vs. Illinois by the Supreme Court’s insistence that police allow council to be present during questioning. “In all criminal proceedings, the accused shall enjoy the right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” (flexyourrights.org). In historic times, such a notion as the right to silence did not exist. In the 18th century English Criminal procedure made it impossible for a suspect of a crime to protect themselves from self-incrimination. Common law refused a criminal the right to be defended by a lawyer therefore persons suspected of a crime had little choice but to speak for themselves because no one else was going to. Refusal to speak and answer questions was quite the same ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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