In this situation, should the motion to suppress be granted? Discuss the legality or illegality of the officer’s behavior. In analyzing these facts, it is important to first understand the implications of the Miranda Rights. Widely popularized in modern day police shows and movies, the Miranda Rights has gained a popularity that may even surpass that of the correlative constitutional rights on the freedom of speech, press and assembly (Stevenson 1982). This doctrine which was first lain down in the case of Miranda v Arizona wherein Ernesto Miranda, who was accused of kidnapping and rape, was convicted on the basis of his confession that was solicited from him during the custodial investigation without the benefit of having an attorney present (Weiss 2005).
The only evidence produced by the prosecution during his trial was his confession. The United States Supreme Court ruled in this case that due to the pressures that are exerted by the authorities during these custodial investigations the confession was tainted (Weiss 2005). It was not shown by the prosecution that the confession was made freely and voluntarily, which is the essence of all extra-judicial confessions.The main theory in this case and in the adoption of the Miranda Rights is that one cannot be compelled to incriminate himself no matter what the situation. The practice of pressuring suspects into owning up to a crime is a danger that must be averted.
There is no higher right than that of human dignity which carries with it the privilege of being innocent until proven guilty and the right against self-incrimination (Weiss 2005).The Miranda Rights as known today is a police warning that is issued to all suspects who are in police custody under custodial investigation or who are under police custody in any manner as to restrict their liberties and freedoms (Weiss 2005). The doctrine requires that the police or whatever authority has the right to question the suspect first inform the suspect of his right to be silent, to his counsel of choice and to his right to waive any of his rights with the assistance of counsel.
Once a suspect has been narrowed down and questioned for the purposed of eliciting information for the crime of which he or she is suspected of committing, it is imperative that the Miranda Rights be respected or else all information or evidence obtained will be inadmissible in any court that will try his or her innocence (Weiss 2005).In this case, it is clear from the facts that John Doe was not read his rights. The law is clear when it requires that everyone who is arrested or taken into custodial investigation, such as the situation John Doe is in, must be informed of their Miranda Rights.
There is no question that the act of the police officer in conducting the investigation without the presence of a lawyer and without informing the accused of his rights is in direct violation of the Constitution.While it may certainly be argued by the police officer that there was no violation of the Miranda Rights of the accused, the law is clear when it mandates all officers to read the Miranda Rights. The law requires that the officer inform the accused of his rights in a language that is known to him. It also requires that the officer determine whether or not the person clearly and fully understands the implications of such rights. This means that it is not enough for the officer to merely recite the Miranda Rights in front of the accused but the officer must also make it clear that under these rights the accused may avail of the following such as an attorney and the right to remain silent.It must be emphasized that while many people do not avail of the right, it does not mean that the Miranda Rights are not in effect (Stevenson 1982). The law has clearly provided that there can be no implied waiver of the Miranda Rights and any such waiver can only be executed in the presence of a competent counsel of the suspect’s choice.
Therefore, even though the rights are not availed of by the suspect, they still act to protect the suspect from self-incrimination (Stevenson 1982).As the facts of the situation suggest, there was no waiver of the right to remain silent. The accused, John Doe, was clearly not read his rights. Substitute parental authority, such as that possessed by the Aunt, does not vest the police officers with the authority to proceed with the custodial investigation. It cannot be argued that such information was given with full consent and is therefore admissible because the essential requisite of having an attorney present was not complied with.John Doe is clearly a minor and more protection should be given to him in this case. The situation of being in an interrogation room and being charged with a particularly violent crime is enough to psychologically intimidate many adults. The Miranda Rights were placed in effect in order to prevent coercion and undue pressure by police officers.
This was to ensure that those who were accused would not succumb to the pressures of the investigation and by doing so provide a false confession. Suspects, while informed of their rights under the law, may not be truly aware of their rights (Coldrey 1991). While it may be explained in plain English that one has the right to remain silent or has the right to a counsel of choice, it is still not clear how these rights may be invoked particularly under such high pressure situations such as custodial investigations. The suspect, once deprived of his liberty and freedom under the custody of police officers, is not under the same mental condition and does not possess the same amount of mental comprehension once possessed under opposite circumstances. This means that though the rights are recited to the suspect there is no guarantee that the suspect under stands just exactly what he or she is entitled to under the law (Stevenson 1982). John Doe was clearly not given the benefit of due process in this case and as such, the motion to suppress such evidence obtained from the investigation must be granted in court.With regard to the legality of the actions of the police officer, it must be pointed out that such acts were in direct violation of police procedure.
The law clearly requires that a lawyer must be the one to allow the questioning. The lawyer must represent the accused and through the lawyer may the Miranda Rights be lifted. The consent given by the Aunt is clearly not the consent that is contemplated under the law.
It may certainly be argued that the accused did not invoke his rights under the law and therefore the officer can be considered to have done a legal act. Yet under the law, this cannot be sustained. Police authorities are, more often than not, loath to inform a suspect that he or she is under investigation or questioning at the onset.
The psychological aspect of interviewing or questioning oftentimes confuses the suspect into providing an incriminating answer unwittingly (Coldrey 1991). This is the aspect which most suspects are not fully aware of and hence the necessity of the Miranda Rights.In conclusion, for the evidence or testimony that is obtained during a police investigation to be considered as admissible in court, it must comply with the requisites of procedural due process. The Miranda Rights must be complied with. Any admission during custodial investigation that does not follow these guidelines will be considered inadmissible in any court of law and shall be subject to a motion to suppress by the defense. Any officer that is found violating these guidelines is to be considered as having directly and flagrantly violated the constitutional guidelines that have been lain down with regard to investigations. References:Coldrey, J. (1991) “The Right to Silence: Should it be curtailed or abolished?”` 20 Anglo-American Law Review 51.
Stevenson, N. (1982) “Criminal Cases in the NSW District Court: A Pilot Study” In J. Basten, M. Richardson, C. Ronalds and G. Zdenkowski (eds), The Criminal Injustice System Sydney: Australian Legal Workers Group (NSW) and Legal Service Bulletin.
Weiss, Stewart J. (2005); Missouri V. Seibert: Two-Stepping towards the Apocalypse Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 95, 2005