Clipped From Tucson Daily Citizen

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 - Miranda ruling 10 years By R I C H A R D L....
Miranda ruling 10 years By R I C H A R D L. WORSNOP Editorial Research Reports It is now 10 years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona on June 13, 1966. That landmark landmark ruling on the rights of criminal suspects was acclaimed by civil libertarians libertarians and denounced by law enforcement officials, who argued it would impair their ability to bring criminals criminals to justice. The Miranda decision in effect consolidated several previous Supreme Court opinions on the rights of the accused. It asserted that a suspect must be informed informed of his right to remain silent and of his right to have counsel present present during interrogation. Moreover, it stated he must be told that anything he says may be held against him. Miranda reinforced reinforced the court's decision in the 1964 case of Escobedo Escobedo v. Illinois, which laid down the rule that any confession was inadmissible inadmissible as evidence if the police police questioned the suspect without letting him see a lawyer and without warning warning him that he had a right to remain silent. Among the many critics of. the Miranda decision was Truman Capote, the author of "In Cold Blood," a book about the 1959 murder in Kansas of four members of the Herbert W. Clutter family. Testifying before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in July 1966, Capote asserted that the two murderers in the Clutter Clutter case "would not even have been brought to trial, much less convicted" if the Miranda decision had been in force at the time of their capture. The Miranda decision has remained v i r t u a l l y intact despite numerous challenges. A g a i n and again, the Supreme Court has affirmed the basic substance of the decision. At the same time, the court has consistently held that Miranda does not apply to persons not actually in police police custody. In a 1971 decision, Harris v. New York, the court ruled that evidence obtained obtained in violation of the Miranda rules could nonetheless nonetheless be used by the prosecutor prosecutor to cast doubt on a suspect's credibility if the suspect chose to take the stand in his defense. The suspect in the Harris case had talked with the police after his arrest without having been v advised of his right to remain silent and then had given contradictory contradictory testimony at his trial. The prosecutor proceeded to base his cross-examination cross-examination on the earlier statements statements to the police. In upholding the defendant's defendant's subsequent conviction, conviction, the court declared: "The shield provided by Miranda cannot be perverted perverted into a license to use perjury by way of a defense, defense, free from the risk of confrontation with prior inconsistent utterances. We hold . . . that petitioner's credibility was appropriately appropriately impeached by the use of his earlier conflicting statements." Ernesto Miranda, whose conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court decision that bears his name, was fatally stabbed in Phoenix on Jan. 31. At the time of his death he was reported to be printing and selling "Miranda cards" that spelled out suspects' rights. Two such cards were found on his body by the police. When Miranda's suspected murderer was arrested the following day, he was advised advised by the police of his right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during his interrogation. Copyright 1976

Clipped from
  1. Tucson Daily Citizen,
  2. 09 Jun 1976, Wed,
  3. Page 30

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