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Trivia Tales-1

April 12, 2008

I thought in the times my creativity and timing takes a reprieve like these, I could put in some interesting facts. So here goes trivia #1

“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 be 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.”

Most of us would have heard this from Hollywood movies and TV shows. This reading of rights has an interesting story behind it and it is interesting because of the way it ends.

That is the Miranda Warning, named after a famous case involving a suspect named (what else?) Miranda.

In 1963, Ernesto Miranda, an eighth-grade dropout with a criminal record, had been picked up by Phoenix police and accused of raping and kidnapping a mildly retarded 18-year-old woman.

After two hours in a police interrogation room Miranda signed a written confession, but he apparently never was told that he had the right to remain silent, to have a lawyer, and to be protected against self-incrimination.
Despite his lawyer’s objections, the confession was presented as evidence at Miranda’s trial, and he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years. His appeal went all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was joined with three other similar cases.
In a landmark ruling issued in 1966, the court established that the accused have the right to remain silent and that prosecutors may not use statements made by defendants while in police custody unless the police have advised them of their rights.
That ruling offered only temporary reprieve to Miranda. He was retried. The second time round the prosecutors couldn’t use the confession, but they did have additional evidence from a former girlfriend of Miranda’s who testified that he had told her about the kidnapping and rape.
He was convicted again and served 11 years before being paroled in 1972. He was arrested and returned to prison several times after.
Miranda died in 1976 at age 34 after being stabbed during an argument in a bar. The police arrested a suspect who chose to remain silent after being read his rights. The suspect was released and no one was ever charged with the killing.


From → Trivia Tales

  1. Sriram R permalink

    Nothing is a crime when u commit. getting caught for having committed is.

    suicide is a crime if u fail. you will be punished for not being able to die.


  2. Kirtan permalink

    Ironic end to the originator of one of the most famous dialogues in Hollywood.

    If it is not a crime unless you get caught, why is it called a crime when you commit it? I believe it is still a crime whether you get caught or not.

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