The Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the United States in the Bill of Rights presents the concept of self-incrimination and the benefit and use of appropriate counsel. While giving testimony and defending oneself in a pressing trial or interrogation is important, said statements can be used as evidence against the one subject to accusation.
The United States Supreme Court was established 229 years ago, and receives around 7000 case requests each year and hears about 80 each year. While every year is different and cases are never the same, in estimate, those numbers would calculate to almost 20,000 cases being heard by the Supreme Court. While around 20,000 cases are heard and reviewed, there have been around 1,603,000 cases received.
Although there are a great number of cases, there are select memorable cases that sanded the shape of America today. Famous ones include Brown vs. Board of Education, Roe vs. Wade, Marbury vs. Madison, and Gideon vs. Wainwright. The Brown vs. Board of Education case delved into civil right matters, the Roe vs. Wade case explored right to privacy and abortion rights, the Marbury vs. Madison case examined the issue of judicial review, and the Gideon vs. Wainwright case probed the Sixth Amendment, and the use of attorney despite monetary means to do so.
Miranda vs. Arizona also sifted through the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Ernesto Miranda was arrested after being identified by a victim, and police questioned him without reading Miranda his rights and informing him of the option to hire an attorney. Miranda made statements, without an attorney present, that were used as evidence against him and he was charged with 20 to 30 years on two accounts. A online article and summary of the case provided by Street Law, Inc. states, “Miranda’s defense attorney appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. His attorney argued that his confession should have been excluded from trial because he had not been informed of his rights, nor had an attorney been present during his interrogation. The police officers involved admitted that they had not given Miranda any explanation of his rights. They argued, however, that because Miranda had been convicted of a crime in the past, he must have been aware of his rights. The Arizona Supreme Court denied his appeal and upheld his conviction.” (Landmark Cases, 1)
While Ernesto Miranda, and many of the accused try to present an honest testament, certain wordings or phrases of the incident can indict crucial issues against the accused. Many become victim to their own tongue. Miranda was charged with rape and kidnapping which are considerably heinous; when the perpetrator has either confessed or credible evidence piles against them, they are considered guilty. Miranda’s attorney, John Paul Frank, took advantage of the police officer’s mistake to not inform Miranda of his rights to representation in front of the court.
Law force members, when arresting someone or interrogating, must apprise the wrongdoer of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, giving them the option to remain silent until representation. This is called the ‘Miranda Warning’. Miranda vs. Arizona shaped the U.S. Supreme Court significantly, providing opportunities for criminals or those wrongly accused.
Despite the fact that the ‘Miranda Warning’ is important to any legal process, states use it differently and train enforcement subjectively to it. There is no concrete way to perform the ‘Miranda Warning’. 52 years after the case, Constitution Daily posted an online article stating, “The Miranda warning is only used by law enforcement when a person is in police custody (and usually under arrest) and about to be questioned. Anything you say to an investigator or police officer before you’re taken into custody—and read your Miranda rights—can be used in a court of law, which includes interviews where a person is free to leave the premises and conversations at the scene of an alleged crime.” (NCC, 2)
America definitely responded after this case. 53 years later, police are still being reprimanded on similar grounds. While Brown vs. Board of Education reconstructed Civil Rights and Roe vs. Wade with abortion, Miranda vs. Arizona was a major showcase that even those being accused are allowed to have someone to represent them appropriately. The Court’s decision sealed how important and valuable the Fifth and Sixth Amendments are to every person in any legal circumstance.