Our Miranda Rights - Everything about Miranda Rights by Dr.Bethel Erastus-Obilo



The Supreme Court, in Miranda, revisited the earlier 1964 case of Escobedo47. The Court stated that it was not stating a new case in American legal jurisprudence but was simply applying principles long recognized and applied in other settings. In other words, it was good law to hold that basic rights are enshrined in our Constitution which hold that no person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself and that the accused shall . . . have the assistance of Counsel.

These precious rights were fixed in our Constitution only after centuries of persecution and struggle. And in the words of Chief Justice Marshall, they were secured “for ages to come, and . . . designed to approach immortality as nearly as human institutions can approach it,” 48

The question is whether the police have an obligation to ensure that the accused person is aware of these rights? If there is the obligation, at what point in the criminal justice process must the defendant learn of these rights?

In 1965, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Miranda's case. At the same time, the Court agreed to hear three similar cases, Vignera v. New York, Westover v. United States, and California v. Stewart. The Court combined the four cases. Since Miranda was listed first among the four cases considered by the Court, the decision came to be known by that name. Miranda v. Arizona was decided in 1966.

47 Escobedo v Illinois, 378 U.S. 478 (1964)

48 Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 387 (1821).

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Last updated on March 3, 2019

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