Unit 3 Miranda v. Arizona

The US Constitution: Amendments 4-8
Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue,
but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the
place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Fifth Amendment
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a
presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval
forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any
person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall
be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for
public use, without just compensation.
Sixth Amendment
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by
an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed,
which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to
have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of
Counsel for his defense.
Seventh Amendment
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the
right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Eighth Amendment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
punishments inflicted.
Source: my.hrw.com
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
Significance: This decision ruled that an accused person's Fifth Amendment rights
begin at the time of arrest. The ruling caused controversy because it made
questioning suspects and collecting evidence more difficult for law enforcement
Background: In 1963 Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Arizona for a kidnapping. Miranda
signed a confession and was later found guilty of the crime. The arresting police officers,
however, admitted that they had not told Miranda of his right to talk with an attorney before
his confession. Miranda appealed his conviction on the grounds that by not informing him of
his legal rights the police had violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Decision: This case was decided on June 13, 1966, by a vote of 5 to 4. Chief Justice Earl
Warren spoke for the Court, which ruled in Miranda's favor. The Court decided that an
accused person must be given four warnings after being taken into police custody: (1) the
suspect has the right to remain silent, (2) anything the suspect says can and will be used
against him or her, (3) the suspect has the right to consult with an attorney and to have an
attorney present during questioning, and (4) if the suspect cannot afford a lawyer, one will
be provided before questioning begins.
Source: my.hrw.com
Scenario: Suspect is arrested for drug trafficking. When suspect is taken into custody by the police for
questioning, he signs a confession admitting to the crime. Through the judicial process, it was later discovered
by his attorney that the defendant was never read his Miranda rights, and therefore the confession could not
admitted as evidence in the trial. As a result, the suspect was acquitted of all charges.
Controversial Issue: Amendments 4-8 dictate Constitutional protections for criminal suspects. Would you agree
that it is better for guilty people to go free as opposed to convicting innocent people? Do you think the
Constitution provides too many guarantees to those who may be considered “dangerous” to society?
Background Knowledge
1- Why are the 4th-8th amendments referred to as the rights of the accused?
2- Based on their previous experiences under the oppressive rule of England, why did the framers of the
Constitution emphasize the rights of the accused in the Bill of Rights?
Analyzing the Sources
3- Use your device to define the term precedent. Summarize the impact of Miranda v. Arizona will set a
judicial precedent.
4- Use your device to define the term due process. How is due process supported by the Miranda v.
Arizona decision?
5- Using the decision section of the Miranda v. Arizona source, what guidelines do law enforcement
officials have to follow when collecting evidence or questioning a suspect?
Creating an Argument
Take a stand (pick a side) on the Controversial Issue question
7- Restate your position taken in question #6 in your own words to demonstrate understanding.
8- Do you think the Supreme Court should have ruled in Miranda’s favor? How is your opinion consistent
with the stand you took in question #6? If your opinion is not consistent with #6, go back and reconsider
your response to question #6.
9- Select what you feel is the most convincing/persuasive piece of evidence from Miranda v. Arizona to
support the stand you took in #6. Provide specific textual evidence to support your conclusion.
10- Select the Amendment that you feel is the most convincing/persuasive piece of evidence to support the
stand you took in #6. Provide specific textual evidence to support your conclusion.
Extension: Research a contemporary case that you feel would further support the stand you took in question
#6, provide specific textual evidence from your research to convince the audience to accept your position.
ACTIVITY: Be prepared to discuss or debate the stance that you have taken on the controversial issue.