What Was the Significance of Miranda V. Arizona?

significance-miranda-v-arizona Credit: Elvert Barnes/CC-BY 2.0

In 1965, Miranda v. Arizona created a specific set of procedures for police interrogations and evidence, according to the Oyez Project. The case was one of a series involving protections for the accused found in the Fifth Amendment.

According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Miranda v. Arizona was the defining case for four separate cases that all involved the same Fifth Amendment question. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Miranda in that the investigating officers violated his Fifth Amendment rights during an interrogation in which the officers used misleading and inaccurate statements to elicit a confession.

According to the Legal Information Institute, the Miranda ruling led to a series of pronouncements and procedures. These included the inadmissibility at trial of statements taken in violation of the Fifth Amendment. A “privilege against self-incrimination” existed through the establishment of a right to remain silent, the right to an attorney for criminal matters and the right for the indigent to have an attorney appointed. The accused also had the right to answer some questions without waiving all Fifth Amendment rights. Further, it was determined that those in custody also needed to be made aware of these rights.

Authorities accused and convicted Ernesto Miranda of sexual assault, according to Jrank. The defendant did not definitively claim that Miranda was her attacker. However, during a closed interrogation, the investigating officers falsely told Miranda that the defendant did identify him. This ended in a signed confession by Miranda.