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In criminal proceedings with law enforcement

In criminal proceedings with law enforcement, it is not uncommon to have your Miranda Rights read to you upon arrest. In fact, having these rights read to you is now a necessity when police are placing you under arrest. These are the Right to remain silent, that anything you say or do may be held against you in a court of law, and the right to an attorney if you cannot afford one. Many do not know the importance that these laws truly hold, and they are not just a formality upon arrest. This paper will discuss the United States Supreme Court case that led to these rights becoming a requirement and give a back ground on why the case is significant to the Right of Counsel and Self Representation.

Ernesto Miranda was taken into police custody in 1966 in Phoenix, Arizona from his home under suspicion of the kidnapping and rape of a young girl. He was identified in jail by the witness and interrogated for two hours by law enforcement. He was coerced into signing a confession, stating that he had committed the crimes that he was being charged for, however, he was never informed that he was able to remain silent until he had an attorney present, regardless of if he could obtain his own or not. Because of the signed confession’s presentation in the court trial, he was found guilty by the jury and served 20 to 30 years for each count charged against him. While he did attempt to appeal his case with the Supreme Court in Arizona, it was futile. But his court appointed lawyer advised him to take his appeal to the Supreme Court, who would overturn his conviction and deem it completely necessary to read a suspect their rights upon arrest.