Miranda Rights - Research Paper Example

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Miranda Rights serve as a protective mechanism for those accused of crimes in the United States, and it is an extension of the Fifth Amendment protection of due process. Any look at totalitarian regimes of true history or recent fiction will reveal that protection of citizens' rights to not be abused by law enforcement and to not self-incriminate is an important function both in terms of maintaining democracy and in ensuring human rights…
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Miranda Rights
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Download file to see previous pages Arguments against Miranda Rights have to contend with counter-arguments that not having this protective mechanism in place will open citizens to potential rights abuses, and that not having this mechanism will remove a key set of information that individuals need when dealing with police. Those in favor of Miranda Rights must deal with the thought that they do not really change or better society in any substantive way. A comparison of these arguments and their relative worth is necessary to establish how much progress Miranda Rights have made since their inception in protecting individuals from harm. Miranda Rights, as they exist now, were conceived in 1966 as a result of the United States Supreme Court case Miranda vs. Arizona, in which Ernesto Arturo Miranda signed a confession without being properly informed of his various Constitutional rights related to due process. Miranda challenged the conviction based on this false confession and the circumstantial evidence that connected him to the crime, which led to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the Supreme Court to draft the first version of the Miranda warning. From this court case, suspects were now entitled to be informed of their rights to not self-incriminate and to seek counsel, even if he cannot afford one. The Court's opinion also indicated that if an individual chose to exercise his Miranda Right to remain silent, the interrogation must cease; likewise, if an individual chose to exercise his Miranda Right to counsel, the interrogation must cease until counsel can be found with whom he can confer with during interrogation. As with any verbal warning, there is a vague set of standards related to waiving or acknowledging understanding of the warning. With the Miranda Warning, a suspect must be asked if he understands these rights given under the Miranda Warning—either after each sentence of the Warning or after the entire Warning has been given. A person's silence in response to the Warning is interpretable, according to a recent decision by the Supreme Court, as an understanding of what the Warning says (Bravin, 2010). However, the issue is complicated when the Miranda Warning is issued to people who do not speak English or speak it poorly. In this case, the Miranda Warning will not help suspects who cannot understand its content. The standards for delivering the Warning to those suspects, then, become difficult to define. However, delivering the same Warning to all suspects taken in under arrest gives a sense of standardization and equality for everyone under the ideal of procedural justice, even if true justice is not achieved in every case. This argument against the Miranda Warning is one that its supporters must contend with as English becomes less of a dominant language among a growing American demographic. Miranda Rights are also vague in terms of their standards for exceptions. What comes to mind first of all is the public safety exception, derived most clearly from the Supreme Court case New York v. Quarles. In that case, officers questioned a suspect on the location of a firearm in a public setting before informing him of his Miranda Rights. The Court ruled that when the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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