You Have the Right to Remain Silent: the Miranda Rights

Anyone who has watched Law & Order, or any other U.S. detective show, will have heard the cops state the words: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…” The phrase needs to be recited by law enforcement while detaining suspects. It basically ensures suspects of their rights to defend themselves and that they are not required to talk to detectives without an attorney present.

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These rights are also known as the Miranda Warning and were implicated in a 1966 case: Miranda v. Arizona. Ernesto Mirada was a 24-year-old high school dropout who was accused of the kidnapping and sexual assault of an 18-year-old girl. He gave a full confession during a two-hour investigation, and that was the sole evidence used against him. After Miranda’s conviction, his lawyer used the Constitution to appeal to the court. This is the case that changed police protocol in the United States.

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