Last updated: June 17, 2019
Topic: LawLaw Enforcement
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Re: Miranda vs. Arizona


MORE THAN half a century has passed since the United States of America Supreme Court has promulgated the immutable case of Miranda vs. Arizona.  The doctrine has survived the rigors of time and testimony, witnessed countless battles of the bar and bench and protected the freedom and rights of the people against the State and of its agents.

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No less than its head magistrate, then Chief Justice Earl Warren, in speaking for the majority upheld that exclusionary rule of self incrimination as well as the right of an accused to counsel well-recognized under the Fifth and Sixth Amendment of the nation’s sacred charter.[1]

In the closely-contested but well-delivered opinion, the High Court established that there can be no presumption that an accused may be well-aware of his rights under police custody despite the fact that such accused had undergone a previous incarceration.  As what the Constitution requires, every law enforcement officer is duty-bound to inform the accused of his constitutional rights during every arrest or similar situation, particularly the right to remain silent and to he assistance of an attorney.  Any statement or admission obtained in violation of this procedure will result in its inadmissibility as evidence against the accused.

The exclusion of these statements is necessary in order to avoid any act that may lead to unwarranted compulsion to any confession or admission by the accused as well as to limit the probability of any future act of such nature by the arresting officer.  It is also excluded to “discourage unsavory police practices” in extracting confessions from accused.[2]

Yet, this exclusionary rule only comes into effect when a person has been deprived of his liberty in any way and that there has been an interrogation that was conducted by the agent of the State.  This is because the law recognizes the compulsive influence a police-dominated atmosphere has on an accused who is left alone to fend for his rights without any aid of a competent and independent counsel.

However, the principles laid down by Miranda vs. Arizona continues to be jaded with controversies with regard to conflicting philosophies on the proper treatment of offenders and the prosecution of criminal cases.[3]  For some sectors, the decision by the Court reflects on the soft stand of the State with respect to the prosecution of crime.  On the other hand, some sectors view the doctrine as an infallible guardian of liberty and people’s rights.

Hopefully for the next few years, the scales of justice will continue to tilt in favor of people’s rights and the ominous power of the State will continue to be under the rein of the tenets of the Constitution.

[1] FindLaw for Legal Professionals. “Miranda vs. Arizona.” Cases & Codes. 1966. 17 Oct. 2007 <>.
[2] ” Constitutional Foundations of Miranda.” Miranda vs. Arizona. 1966. 17 Oct. 2007 < >.
[3] “Controversy Over the Court’s Decision.” Miranda vs. Arizona. 1966. 17 Oct. 2007 <>.