Q. What court case does the Miranda Warning come from?
answered by Paul Harding, Deputy Sheriff since 2000, Certified Flight Instructor
Miranda v. Arizona
Ernesto Miranda was a serial rapist. His normal technique was to come up behind a woman, threaten her life with a weapon, and force her to keep her eyes closed or look away from him while he raped her.
Eventually, he raped enough women that police were able to put together enough clues to name him as a suspect. One of his victims had looked at him as he walked away, after raping her. However, she was very clear that she had not seen his face. She only saw his basic profile.
In a police lineup, she stated that she could not positively identify him, but that Ernesto Miranda did fit the profile she had seen and could have been her rapist.
Police interrogated Miranda. Since nobody had yet invented the “Miranda warning,” they didn’t give him one.
Ernesto Miranda confessed to the rapes (and a bit of kidnapping too, if I recall correctly).
He was convicted at trial. His lawyers appealed the conviction, arguing that Miranda’s Constitutional right against self incrimination in court, and right to an attorney in court, should also apply during police questioning outside of court. The appeal worked its way all the way up to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Miranda’s attorneys’ argument, and they invented the doctrine that police must issue a warning during custodial police interrogation. This was a totally new idea in law enforcement.
Miranda’s conviction was overturned, and his previous trial was basically considered null and void, like it had never happened. If they wanted to convict him of the rapes, they would have to do a new trial, but without the evidence of his confessions. Since the one witness who had peaked at him honestly stated that she couldn’t identify his face, the prospects for a conviction were pretty grim.
Ernesto Miranda had a common-law wife and children. While he was in jail awaiting his second trial his common-law wife came to visit him. He told her how nervous he was about the testimony of this woman who could sort of, possibly, identify him. He told his wife that he was very sorry about raping that woman. He asked his wife if she could go visit the woman, explain that to her, and ask her, as a fellow wife and mother, to refuse to testify so that he could go free.
Apparently this was the first time Ernesto Miranda’s wife had realized that her husband was actually guilty of raping all those women. She was, to put it mildly, a bit disappointed in him. In fact, she was so disappointed that she went straight to the cops and told them about his confession to her and how he had asked her to tamper with a witness.
The really fun irony here is that Ernesto Miranda, whose name was associated with brand-new rules about custodial interrogations by police, had just made a confession, while in custody, to his wife, who was not part of the police and who was not acting on behalf of the police when the confession was made. Therefore, this second confession was completely admissible in court. His wife testified against him in his second trial.
Ernesto Miranda, a serial rapist who was about to escape punishment based on the suppression of his first confession, made a second confession and got convicted! He was sentenced to 20 – 30 years in prison.
He eventually made parole. He made some pocket change selling autographed copies of the “miranda warning” cards used by cops.
Eventually he died on the restroom floor at a bar after he got cheating at cards and his fellow players stabbed him to death.
I think the new rules we got as a result of the Miranda case are pretty good ones. I do wish we had a name for the warning that didn’t celebrate a twice-confessed and twice-convicted serial rapist.
source : Quora