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Hey, get this. The Constitution applies to everyone. Thanks to Miranda v. Arizona, a person's Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights—to be advised of their right not to incriminate themselves and right to have an attorney present during questioning—extends to suspects in custody for police interrogations. Unless suspects are read their rights, what they say during the interrogation can't be used by the prosecution. Even if they confess.
Every American deserves to be reminded of their rights when they get in trouble.
People who commit crimes don't deserve to be given protections in the Constitutions; they forfeit those protections when they decide to break the law.
Ernesto Miranda, arrested and charged with rape and kidnapping, is interrogated by the police and gives a confession without being allowed to watch reruns of syndicated crime dramas—er, we mean, without being reminded of his right to remain silent and his right to a lawyer. He's convicted and sentenced to prison.
His lawyer tries unsuccessfully to get the decision reversed by the Supreme Court of Arizona. SCOTUS agrees to consider the case to clarify whether suspects in custody are protected by their Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Drumroll please…
The Miranda v. Arizona text is authored by Chief Justice Earl Warren (writing for the majority) and the dissenting justices. It begins with an overview of the case, including the crimes and controversy that the court is examining. The heart of the text is the Opinion, which is where the court gives its final decision, along with reasons for that decision. Earl Warren explains that it's unconstitutional to gain a confession from someone who has not been told their rights, because that confession may have been gained through police pressure (threats, violence, intimidation, pantsing), or because the defendant didn't know that he or she had those rights.
Hey, wake up. Maybe put some dance music on the background.
The Opinion finishes with the new rule, a.k.a. a precedent. Warren says that from now on, anyone questioned by the police must be informed about their right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. Script writing changes forever.
The end of the text includes dissents (translation: the thoughts of the justices who voted against the majority). Several justices believe that it's not the responsibility of the police to remind criminals of their rights, and that offering the Miranda Warning may actually lead to more criminals getting away with their crimes.
You must be told that you have the right to zip it and get a lawyer before you answer any questions in custody during a police Q&A.