The Miranda v. Arizona case involved an important decision made in 1996 by the U.S Supreme Court to protect people from self-incrimination. The court maintained that both exculpatory and inculpatory statements given by a suspect during an interrogation in police supervision would be acceptable in a court of law only if the prosecution can prove that the defendant was informed of their right to remain silent and consult with a counsel (United States Courts, n.d). Additionally, the Miranda rights require the prosecution to prove that the suspect understood all these rights and voluntarily chose to ignore them. The following paper is a memorandum of law assessing the issues raised, and using the Miranda clauses to support an opinion that the court should grant the motion. A decision to grant the motion will make all the statements and evidence gathered in the case unacceptable during the trial because the Miranda rights were not given as required.
The scenario presented offers numerous facts. Four police officers arrested a suspect conducted an interrogation without reading the Miranda rights as stipulated in the law. One of the facts is that the police officers did not read or inform the suspect of any rights that he has and may wish to ignore. In this case, the four officers only told the suspect their reason for being in his house. They asked the suspects whether there was anything there were supposed to know about his activities. Additionally, the police officers went directly to interrogating the suspect who responded involuntarily since he had not been made aware of his rights. Another major fact is that the suspect self-incrimin himself by involuntarily offering evidence without any legal counsel. In one instance, the suspect inquired why he had not been allowed to call a lawyer who happened to be his cousin. Additionally, the officers did not find any evidence prior to interrogating the suspect. The evidence gathered was from the suspect’s confessions or statements that were acquired involuntarily.
One of the major issues presented in the case is the defense’s request to dismiss the statements and evidence collected. The request to have the evidence withdrawn from the trial is based on the Miranda v. Arizona ruling. The decision, now popularly known as Miranda rights, requires law enforcement officers to read out the right to remain silent and seek supervision from a counsel during or before an interrogation. Nonetheless, the police officers continued to interrogate the suspect without informing him the individual of the Miranda rights. The law requires all police officers to exercise this ruling by informing suspects of their Miranda rights while in their custody.
According to Helms (2003), an individual is believed to be in custody whenever they are retained or held in an environment that they deem they are not free to leave. In this case, the suspect was handcuffed and believed that he could not leave freely. The police actions were an indication that he was in police custody. In such situations, law enforcers must ensure that the suspect is made aware of the right to remain silent and seek the supervision of counsel before interrogating the suspect. Denying a suspect their rights to silence and an attorney is in line with violating individual constitutional rights. The constitutional right in question is the Fifth Amendment which serves as a privilege for all people whether they are suspects or not.
According to the United States Courts, (n.d) the procedure of in-custody interrogation of the individuals suspected or indicted of crime holds that they tend to defy interrogations. They have convincing pressures that work to weaken the person’s will to repel and compel him to speak where he may choose to do the same voluntarily. In this case, the four police officers proceed to arrest the suspect by placing handcuffs and stating their reason for being in his premises. However, the police officers go directly to questioning the suspect without any warning. The suspect or defendant must be given a warning before being questioned on anything relating to the case or issue at hand. In the given scenario, the officers had the responsibility to warn the suspect that he had a right to remain silent and that anything that he may choose to say can be used against him in a trial or a court of law.
The suspect was also entitled to be warned that he had a right to seek the supervision of an attorney before interrogation. Additionally, he had the right to have counsel present during questioning. The suspect should also have been informed that if he is unable to hire an attorney, one will be appointed for him by the court before the interrogation. In the given scenario, it is clear that the Miranda warnings were not given to the suspect. The implications of omitting the Miranda readings are in self-incrimination. The suspect would not have chosen to speak about the evidence gathered without knowing and understanding that he had a right to remain silent or seek a lawyer. Therefore, without his constitutional right to be warned, he involuntarily gave out information that led to incriminating evidence. The police procedures were not abiding by the legal structures.
The gun and drugs found in the suspect’s house cannot be accepted as reliable evidence because the process by which the evidence was collected violated the suspect’s freedom and rights. It is, therefore, unconstitutional and against the law to attempt and use such evidence and statements that were acquired by the described laws and rights in police interrogations. Although such a move may be deemed an injustice because the suspect will be acquitted on the grounds of wrong police procedures, it supports the rule of law. All laws made should be interpreted and implemented effectively without fear or favor. The overall Miranda rule analysis illustrates that the defense attorney should be granted the request to withdraw evidence and statements made through unconstitutional procedures.
In conclusion, the analysis evidently illustrates that the evidence in question was sought without following the Miranda v. Arizona ruling. The police officers did not issue the Miranda warnings that are entitled to each suspect prior to interrogation while under their custody. The case shows that the police made a constitutional mistake by omitting the Miranda reading when they were arresting the suspect. Police officers should always ensure that suspects are made aware of their right to remain silent. Additionally, they should be told that whatever they say could be used in a court of law. Any evidence that is gathered without following the Miranda v. Arizona warnings should be dismissed as usable evidence during trial to observe the rule of law.
Helms, J. L. (2003). Analysis of Miranda reading levels across jurisdictions: Implications for evaluating waiver competency. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 3(1), 25-37.
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
United States Courts, (n.d).Fifth Amendment: Miranda v. Arizona and Criminal Defense. Web.