Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the
Miranda v. Arizona Supreme Court decision, a ruling that forever changed the way law enforcement
must recognize citizen rights during an arrest. To commemorate the decision,
Attorney Eric Nemecek and Law Clerk Brad Wolfe have written a piece in the newest edition of
Attorney at Law Magazine® detailing the landmark case and its lasting effect on our criminal justice system.
In March 1963, Ernesto Miranda, a troubled, 18-year-old Mexican immigrant,
was arrested in his home by the Phoenix Police. He was questioned for
two hours at a police station concerning a local rape. While he was not
physically coerced, Miranda was not made aware of his rights. He was eventually
convicted of the crime and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison—a
ruling that the Arizona Supreme Court upheld.
However, the SCOTUS saw the issue differently. In a June 1966 split decision,
the court ruled that Miranda's Constitutional Rights had been violated.
Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote: "the person in custody must, prior
to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain
silent and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he
must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer
and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he
is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him."
The Miranda decision (and the resulting "Miranda rights") has
completely changed law enforcement and judicial procedure. Now, whenever
police officers want to arrest a citizen, that citizen must be made aware
of their Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights before cooperating in an interrogation.
As Nemecek and Wolfe write: "Over the past 50 years, the rule has
weighed the importance of conducting investigations in an effort to solve
crimes and promote public safety, against abusive police procedures, compromised
constitutional rights and the procurement of false confessions by innocent
You can read "Miranda: A Historical Perspective" by Eric Nemecek
and Brad Wolfe and in Attorney at Law Magazine® Vol. 2 No.5.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a serious crime,
Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C. is ready to hear from you. Our award-winning and sought after Cleveland
criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights and
futures of our clients and have time and time again ensured that the best
possible outcome to their case has been put within reach.
It is possible to face this difficult time with confidence.
Contact our team today to start exploring your defense options.