Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the arrest of Ernesto Miranda in Phoenix, whose appeal of his conviction was the named case that we refer to when we talk about people being informed of their right to remain silent and to have an attorney: being read their Miranda rights. The Supreme Court created a format that would make it easy for law enforcement to follow and create a bright-line rule to determine if a person’s statements would be admissible against them. Law Enforcement officers are required to inform suspects of their rights if they are going to interrogate them after arrest. The case remains one of the most important landmarks for the protection of individual rights in our nation’s history.
I add that the Miranda rights do not have to be read after every arrest. In Florida, cops actually don’t have to tell people what they are being arrested for at that time. Miranda readings are only required if the cops interrogate someone after arresting them. I am adding this because that’s one of the most common misconceptions defense attorneys see among accused people, generally. It’s also fascinating to learn that the decision didn’t help Miranda, anyway. He was given a new trial without his confession being entered, and he was convicted anyway.