supreme court paper - Dustin Damashek 5/3/2007 Supreme...

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Dustin Damashek 5/3/2007 Supreme Court Case: MIRANDA v. ARIZONA, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) “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 and attorney. If you can not afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” The simple words that everyone knows are the product of the famous case Miranda v. Arizona. Miranda v. Arizona is a landmark Supreme Court case because its decision has left its impact on every legal arrest that has occurred since. Prior to the decision there was a great civil rights movement to make a change in to the interrogation practices of law enforcement officers because some of them had become quiet extreme and even brutal. It had started to come to the point where confessions were not taken as seriously as they once where because they had a dark cloud of uncertainty cast over them. However, any change to the system was to be met by a great wall of resistance. This great burden came upon the Warren Court, a court with a history of overcoming social injustices and being on the side of American civil liberties. Opponents of the case declared that by passing such a law would give power to the criminals and weaken the power of the police. Proponents on the other hand claimed that police were getting lazy, and using “fists rather than wits.” In the end the court agreed ruled in favor of Miranda and made it mandatory for police to advise suspects of their right to remain silent and their right to counsel. If the police did not do this any confession obtained while in police custody would be thrown out in court. So whether regardless of whether a person was for or against the decision, no one can deny that it had a radical impact on this nation.
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As is with many of the laws of the United States, our rules were influenced by those of England. William Blackstone, a famous English jurist, once said "even in cases of felony at the common law" confessions made out of court are "the weakest and most suspicious of all testimony; even liable to be obtained by artifice, false hopes, promises of favor, or menaces; seldom remembered accurately, or reported with due precision; and incapable in their nature of being disproved by other negative evidence." (1) Due to police brutality and other unethical practices any confession made outside of court had to be held as suspect and always questioned. In the eighteen hundreds and before, police could and would hold a suspect until he confessed. To expedite this confession they may employ certain techniques that would make any civil rights lawyer cringe, these techniques later became known as giving a suspect the third degree. There were reports of hanging a suspect. Then just before he died the police would take him down and then hang him again. Judges would not be unaware of these claims, therefore confessions started to be taken lightly. Because of this the founding fathers and framers of the U.S. Constitution created
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course HIST 102 taught by Professor Bonner during the Spring '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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supreme court paper - Dustin Damashek 5/3/2007 Supreme...

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