Due Process – Miranda v. Arizona Case

Due process entails the commitments by all governments to protect the rights of its citizens as provided by the laws in its constitution. The Supreme Court however has handled many cases concerning the denial or use of due process to the people. One example is that of the Miranda v. Arizona case in which the Supreme Court addressed four diverse cases that involved custodial interrogations. In each of the four cases, the defendants were not given effective and elaborate warnings of their rights at the beginning of the interrogations (Ville, 2014). Considering Miranda v. Arizona case, Miranda was arrested and had to be kept under police custody. Upon identification by the complainant, Miranda was engaged in a two hour interrogation session by two police officers.

During the process Miranda signed a confession that was in a written form indicating the offence he had committed. Miranda was not informed of his right to seek for assistance from a counsel during the process. Nor was he told of his rights to remain silent, or that the statements made would be used against him in court. However, the written confessions were later on presented to the jury during his trials, an act that was objected by his court appointed attorney (Ville, 2014). The accused was sentenced to 20-30 years of imprisonment upon being found guilty of kidnapping and rape by the Arizona State Court. When the accused filed for an appeal, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled that his constitutional rights had been violated and this prompted the case to be reversed. Upon second trial by the Arizona State Court, Miranda’s confessions were not used as evidence but he was convicted and sentenced for kidnapping and rape.

Both Fifth and Sixth Amendment policies influenced the rulings made by the Supreme Court of Arizona in the Miranda v. Arizona case. The Fifth Amendment asserts that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against oneself in any criminal case, and that whenever a confession is made involuntary, that particular portion of the Fifth Amendment with regard to the constitution of the United States should be used. The sixth Amendment asserts that the accused persons have the right to have an attorney unless the suspect had been informed of ones rights before being arrested by the police officers (Graglia, 1994). It explains that the accused   in police custody must be informed of their rights before being interrogated, that anything said by the person will be used against them in Court. They must also be informed of their rights to consult an attorney or lawyers during their interrogation process, and if they lack the capacity to seek for assistance from a lawyer, the state will to have to provide one for them.

The Supreme Court of Arizona agrees with the fact that the privileges of the Fifth Amendment have to be used to protect the rights of people in all kinds of settings and that their freedom of action should not be curtailed by compelling one to self-incrimination. It therefore rules out that the prosecution should not use statements obtained from custodial interrogations of the defendant to make a court ruling. The only exemption is when the procedures used in the interrogation secure the privileges that are against self- incrimination (Reinhardt, 1994).  It is unlawful to interrogate accused or suspected persons in police custody without informing them their rights .It is because of this reason that the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled out the Miranda was denied due process and the case was reversed.

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