Miranda Rights 45 Years Old

The Miranda rights or warning was enacted after the Supreme Court ruled that the 5th and 6th amendment rights of Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been violated when he was arrested for rape and kidnapping.

When making an arrest a police officer doesn’t have to cite the Miranda warning in a certain order, but needs to convey to the arrested person their rights, in a way they can understand.

The Miranda law was enacted after the Supreme Court ruling in the Arizona vs. Miranda decision in 1966. There have been numerous court rulings in different aspects of the law since then, but the basic Miranda rights still apply today.

Ernest Arturo Miranda whose arrest culminated in the reading of the Miranda rights to suspects when being arrested.

The state of Virginia has a line that allows a suspect being questioned to terminate the interview at any point and exercise their Miranda rights.

There are some circumstances when a suspect may be read their rights, but may not be capable of understanding what they mean because of a developmental disability. It is not clear to me what would be done in this situation, but someone reading this may be able to clarify the situation.

Sometimes a police officer has to take the safety of the public into account when arresting someone, so the Miranda warning is not read until after the suspect has been handcuffed.

The following paragraph from Wikipedia outlines the six factors needed for Miranda to apply:

The Miranda rule applies to the use of testimonial evidence in criminal proceedings that is the product of custodial police interrogation.[10] Therefore, for Miranda to apply six factors must be present:

  1. evidence must have been gathered
  2. the evidence must be testimonial[11]
  3. the evidence must have been obtained while the suspect was in custody[12]
  4. the evidence must have been the product of interrogation[13]
  5. the interrogation must have been conducted by state-agents[14] and
  6. the evidence must be offered by the state during a criminal prosecution.[15]

Undercover law enforcement officials do not have to read the rights to a suspect, since the undercover official may jeopardize his own safety by revealing he is a police officer.


The first time Ernesto Arturo Miranda was arrested for kidnapping and rape the Supreme Court ruled that suspects should be read their Miranda rights in the Miranda vs. Ariz. case. Miranda was retried and convicted, even with his admission of guilt being thrown out.

He was sentenced to 20 to 30 years, but was out on parole in 1972 so didn’t spend much time behind bars. Miranda saw a way to make money off his name, by selling autographed Miranda rights cards for $1.50.

Miranda was later arrested for gun possession but the charges were dropped. He was still sent back to prison for a year for violating his parole, but it is confusing as to why he would be sent to prison if the charges were dropped.

Miranda’s life would come to an end when he was stabbed during a card game in a Phoenix bar. Ironically he had several Miranda cards in his possession at his death. Even more ironically the suspect used the Miranda rights to remain silent and was released. The murderer was never apprehended.

His life ended 10 years after the Miranda rights law had gone into effect.

Readers are welcome to comment and give additional information about the Miranda rights.

Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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