miranda

Document Sample
miranda Powered By Docstoc
					Who is Ernesto Miranda?

How It Began. . .






Shortly after 11 p.m. on March 2, 1963, an 18-year-old woman was raped on her way home from work, one of 150 rapes that year in Phoenix. Based on her statements, police began looking for a 27 or 28-year-old Mexican man with a mustache, a little less than six feet tall, weighing 175 pounds. Her attacker had no accent, she said, and when police pressed her, Patty said he could have been Italian. She was unsure about his heritage, she said, but she would never forget his face and felt confident she would be able to identify him.

Conflicting Stories





Had her rapist had removed her clothes or she had done it herself? Did she fight her attacker (her body showed no signs of bruising or cuts)? Her evasive answers, reluctance to talk, and conflicting accounts of the rape would eventually prompt authorities to give her a lie detector test, which was inconclusive. The examiner felt she may have taken a tranquilizer beforehand, and some of her answers were downright untruthful.

Details She Gave. . .




It was a Ford or Chevy. It was green and the interior smelled like paint or turpentine. There was a loop of rope hanging from the rear of the front seat like a handrail to give backseat passengers something to grab on to when exiting the car.

Why Was the Case Pursued?






Her family informed the police that Patty was somewhat emotionally disabled, having a measured intelligence of a 12- or 13-year-old. She was painfully shy and rarely spoke-even to family members. Police should take that into account when questioning her. Family members now picked her up each night and several times saw a green car that Patty said looked like her attacker‟s car. It was a Packard, and her brother-inlaw noted the license plate: DLF-312.

The Car is Found. . .




The license plate DLF-312 turned out to be incorrect, but the license plate DLF317 belonged on a green Packard. However, when police went to the address on the registration, they found out that the owner and her mustachioed Mexican boyfriend had moved out two days earlier. No one knew where they moved to. When police tracked down their new address, officers noticed a rope strap attached to the rear of the front bench.

Miranda‟s Life of Crime . . .
•AHe waslater, Ernesto was walking his first month a chronic truant, and had home criminal conviction when he was in 8th one night when he happened to glimpse a grade. nude woman lying on a bed in her home.  In 9th grade, Miranda was arrested and •To Miranda, this was an invitation to enter convicted of burglary, and sentenced to a the home, which he did through the year in front door. He unlocked reform school. got on the bed with the woman, attempted but failed at State  He was released from the Arizona intercourse, School for Boys after serving his Industrial and remained in bed with her until her husband came home and called sentence. police. •Miranda was returned to reform school for an additional year.


Maybe a Move Will Help. . .






After he was released from the reformatory, he headed west to Los Angeles. Within months he had been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and being caught in the act of being a peeping Tom. After his arrest and two-and-a-half month detention on the armed robbery charges, authorities deported the 18-year-old back to Arizona.

Will the Army Help?








Miranda did the only legitimate thing he could do in the face of such hardship – he joined the Army. His service record lists AWOL and voyeurism charges; Miranda spent six months in the Fort Campbell, Kentucky stockade at hard labor. After 15 months in the service and one consultation with a psychiatrist, Miranda was dishonorably discharged. This is the man police questioned in the rape of the young lady in Phoenix.

Questions for Ernesto. . .






Miranda, unsure of Almost immediately police put  his status with Ernest Miranda into a line-up authorities, willingly with three other Mexicanwent to police Americans from the city jail who headquarters when approximately matched his asked. physical appearance. The officers told him Miranda was the only man who they could not give wore a shirt that allowed him any information at viewers to see his tattooed this time. arms. In fact, he was under rape victim could not The arrest, and would decisively identify her attacker, have had to even after accompany the “The lead officer, Cooley, lied officers to the stationMiranda and told him he to whether he wanted to flunked the lineup. or not.

Mistakes Made. . .






After Miranda was told he flunked the unsuccessful line-up, police put him in a small, soundproof interrogation room. Miranda was never advised of his Fifth Amendment rights (of avoiding selfincrimination) or his Sixth Amendment rights (a consultation with a lawyer). Cooley, one of the arresting officers, testified during the trial that he believed Miranda was familiar with his Constitutional rights because he was a convict and had been through this before.

The Confession. . .






When the arresting officers brought Patty McGee near the interrogation room, they asked Miranda if she was the girl he had raped. Once Miranda admitted she was the girl, the officers had Miranda sign a written confession that also included a disclaimer that said his confession was voluntary and he understood his rights (NOTE: a statement outlining his rights was not included). It only took a few hours for this to happen.

Miranda‟s Story. . .




Ernest Miranda had confessed under dubious circumstances that would be argued all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Miranda‟s claims:
o The confession was coerced. o The officers made him a deal that if he admitted to the rape, they would drop the robbery charge. o The officers threatened to „throw the book‟ at him. o The officers promised to get him psychiatric counseling for his obvious sexual deviancy.

The Trial. . .




The trial was fairly simple. There were only a few witnesses (the victim, her sister, and the arresting officers), one item entered into evidence (the confession), and no witnesses were presented on Ernest‟s behalf. His lawyer, Moore, was experienced, but reluctant to take the case.

Insanity Defense. . .
 



Moore first filed notice of his intent to pursue the insanity defense. Psychiatrists for the defense and the state found that though Miranda was mentally abnormal, he was fit to stand trial and he was able to understand the charges against him, the possible ramifications of a guilty verdict, as well as assist in his own defense. The reports forced Moore to abandon his insanity defense claim. The case was set for trial in mid-June 1963.

The Trial (continued). . .








Patty McGee took the stand first, still traumatized by the recent rape. Next, Cooley took the stand. At this point, the prosecution attempted to have Miranda‟s confession entered as evidence. Moore objected. He felt Miranda‟s confession was in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and that it was inadmissible. When questioned, Cooley stated that Miranda was warned of his 5th Amendment rights(remember the blurb at the top of his confession), but admitted that he did not usually let suspects know they are entitled to an attorney.

Objection!




Moore objected because he believed the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that a suspect is entitled to an attorney at the time of arrest. He was referring to the high court‟s decision in (Gideon v. Wainwright, where the court had said that all defendants are allowed counsel during trial). Maricopa Superior Court Judge Yale McFate overruled the objection and allowed Miranda‟s confession to be heard by the jury.

The Jury. . .




McFate told the jury: “the fact that a defendant was under arrest at the time he made the confession, or that he was not at the time represented by counsel or that he was not told that any statement he might make could or would be used against him, in and of themselves, will not render such confessions involuntary.” The jury found Miranda was guilty of rape and kidnapping. Two weeks later, Ernest Miranda was sentenced to 20 to 30 years on both charges, sentences to be served concurrently.

At the Supreme Court. . .
 

In November of 1965, the case made it to the Supreme Court. The argument set forth by John Flynn and John Frank (ACLU lawyers) continued the argument that Ernest Miranda‟s Sixth Amendment right to counsel had been violated by the Phoenix Police Department:
– “The day is here to recognize the full meaning of the Sixth Amendment,” they wrote. “We invoke the basic principles (that) „he requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him.‟ When Miranda stepped into Interrogation Room 2, he had only the guiding hand of Officers Cooley and Young.”

The Lawyers View. . .






“To this day I don‟t know whether Miranda was guilty of the crime of rape or not,” Frank would say later. “He did something, but I don‟t know whether it was aggravated assault or rape.” Ernest Miranda was at best a very sick individual, and at worst a rapist and kidnapper. The lawyers focused on the Constitutional questions that the high court would be asked to resolve.

The Decision


Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote:
– “The prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way, unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the Fifth Amendment's privilege against selfincrimination,” Warren wrote, creating the now-famous “Miranda Warning.”

The Ramifications. . .







Since then, before any pertinent questioning of a suspect is done, the police have been required to recite the Miranda warning. When you have been read your rights, you are said to have been "Mirandized." Note that one need not be arrested to be mirandized. There is a difference between being arrested and being questioned. Also, basic questions, such as name, address, and Social Security number do not need to be covered by a Miranda warning. The police also need not Mirandize someone who is not a suspect in a crime.

Specifics. .


You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.



A detainee may be asked to sign a statement acknowledging the following while in custody: – You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do you understand? – Anything you do say may 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 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?

An Ironic Ending. . .




 


As for Ernesto Miranda, his conviction was thrown out, though he did not become a free man. The police had other evidence that was independent of the confession, and when Miranda was tried a second time, he was convicted again. He was arrested again on similar charges. He was mirandized this time! After release from prison, Miranda was killed in a barroom brawl in 1976.
Sources: crimelibrary.com and usconstiution.net


				
DOCUMENT INFO