All the persons’ rights and freedoms are fixed in the Constitution, and they are regulated according to the definite laws. In the USA, the rights should be considered as a form of protection for each person. However, when the issue of Miranda Rights is discussed many people do not know the real meaning of the warning presented by policemen, while taking any person into custody.
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Those words which are often perceived by the public as the usual warning are important to protect the persons, and the Miranda Warning is used as the statement of the right against self-incrimination. Nevertheless, the Miranda Warning had not been used as the obligatory preventive procedure before 1966, when the case of Ernesto Miranda was discussed.
When people do not know their rights they can become the victims of their irresponsibility that is why the Miranda Warning can be considered as the necessary procedure to familiarize people with their rights and avoid the situation of self-incrimination.
The Miranda Warning is the statement of the rights provided for the person who is taken into custody. The procedure should be realized before the interrogation process is started. It is the obligation of policemen to inform the arrested person that he or she can remain silent before the attorney is present. There are several variants of the Miranda Warning, and they can be various in different states.
The most typical warning starts with “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you” (What are your Miranda Rights?, 2007). It is also necessary to receive the positive answer to the question “Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?” (What are your Miranda Rights?, 2007).
When this question is not answered because the person does not know the language or cannot provide the answer because of the definite disabilities, the necessary conditions should be created to inform the person about the rights and receive the answer on understanding the warning (Shipler, 2012, p. 43). The ignorance of this question and answer can result in misconceptions and further legal consequences.
The warning was formulated after ceasing the case of Ernesto Miranda who was accused of kidnapping and raping the young woman. The problem was in the fact Miranda was interrogated without having been informed about his rights to remain silent. Miranda confessed, however, this aspect could be discussed as a kind of self-incrimination. In spite of the fact Miranda was imprisoned, the case was heard again.
Miranda won the case because the interrogators did not state the person’s rights according to the Fifth Amendment. From this point, the Miranda Warning is an effective tool to realize the aspects of the Fifth Amendment on the problem of self-incrimination (Shipler, 2012, p. 140).
The person has the right to refuse to answer the questions of the interrogators without the attorney at any time in spite of the fact the interrogation process started. It should be ceased till the attorney is present. Moreover, if the person refuses to speak without the attorney, but then he changes his decision, the person can start answering the interrogators’ questions (What are your Miranda Rights?, 2007).
However, there are many details associated with Miranda Rights. People should be informed about their rights to remain silent and speak in the presence of the attorney only when they are arrested officially. When the person is not arrested, but he should be asked about the definite crime, the Miranda Rights do not work. In this situation, the person should not be Mirandized because the Fifth Amendment is not correlated with such a case.
Those people, who are not in custody and not officially interrogated, are not protected with references to the Miranda Rights. In this case, the persons’ answers to the policemen’s questions can be used against them (Shipler, 2012, p. 92-93). And the opposite side of the process is presented in the fact that when the person is in custody he must be provided with the Miranda warning without references to the situation and place.
The importance of Miranda Rights is in their protective character. However, the persons should be responsible in relation to their rights and freedoms and understand the situations when the Miranda Warning is not provided. The situation of misunderstanding the Miranda Warning associated with the Fifth Amendment can result in the development of the definite misconceptions about the persons’ rights and their protection in relation to the case of arrest and the further interrogation.
The necessity to inform the persons in custody about their rights is a result of misconceptions and violating the human rights with references to Ernesto Miranda’s case. It is important to protect the suspects from being accused because of their possible self-incrimination, and the developed Miranda Warning is the effective preventive procedure used by policemen in the process of arresting suspects.
Shipler, D. K. (2012). The rights of the people: How our search for safety invades our liberties. USA: Vintage.
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What are your Miranda Rights? (2007). Retrieved from http://www.mirandawarning.org/whatareyourmirandarights.html