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Old Yesterday, 12:41 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,277 posts, read 1,443,094 times
Reputation: 3778

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The "right to remain silent" isn't mentioned in the Constitution. But its close cousin, the prohibition of government to compel testimony against yourself, is. And since at the beginning of a case, people don't know what might incriminate you and what might no, this quickly turns into the "right to remain silent".

That right, along with the right to an attorney and some others, form the basis of the so-called "Miranda Rights". They are a vital part of our fair legal system, and it's unthinkable that a defendant be denied any of them.

What I didn't see in the Constitution, was any requirement that police officers must turn into Social Studies teachers and explain those rights to a suspect. Or that anything the suspect says must be thrown out of court if he didn't get his rights explained to him.

The "right" to have the rights explained to him, came from a case where a slimeball named Miranda was on trial. Some judge decided that since he didn't get his rights explicitly explained to him before talking, what he said was no longer "evidence", and must be disregarded by the jury. But it has no basis whatsoever in the Constitution.

The suspect MUST be allowed his rights, that is unquestionably correct. If he says he wants an attorney, one must be provided for him. If he says he doesn't want to talk, he cannot be forced. If he simply clamps his mouth shut and says nothing, ditto. But there is no requirement that anyone explain them to him. If they are not explained to him, and he talks (with or without a lawyer), anything he says can be used against him in court. Whether he got any advance explanations or not.

I once made a right turn on a red light (legal in my state), after deciding the car coming a quarter mile away was safely far enough away. Turned out the car coming was a cop, and he pulled me over. Told me that there was a sign at that intersection saying "No Right Turn On Red". I told him I didn't see any such sign. There was a big collection of signs there, mostly advertising. He said that one of them was a NRTOR sign, and gave me a ticket. I kept protesting the sign must have been well camouflaged, because I had looked carefully and had not seen it. He said that ignorance of the law and the situation is no excuse. Afterward I drove back to the intersection and checked carefully, and sure enough, there it was, second sign from the top, fourth from the left.

Point is, my ignorance of what law applied at that intersection, wasn't an excuse to avoid punishment.

But a suspect's ignorance of what rights he has before and during a trial, ARE an excuse to avoid punishment. Which is simply ignorant wishful thinking on the part of the judge. In Miranda's case, such supposed ignorance WAS turned into an excuse, despite there being NO law at the time saying he could dodge punishment for his crime due to his ignorance, if he had talked freely without coercion.

The judged in Miranda's case made up a law out of thin air, that was never in the Constitution, and never passed by any legislature involved.

They were wrong.

Miranda deserved those rights just as much as you and I do. But his ignorance of his rights is no reason to throw out things he said in court, or even to witnesses (or cops) outside of court.
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Old Yesterday, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
18,405 posts, read 10,227,019 times
Reputation: 7161
It wasn't "some judge". It was SCOTUS. The Miranda Warning is an interpretation of Constitutional rights by SCOTUS, whose job it is to do so. If a suspect is not informed and makes a statement, his fifth and sixth amendment rights are violated.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_warning
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Old Yesterday, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,382 posts, read 2,651,970 times
Reputation: 6445
You might want to read our Constitution, particularly Article III:

Quote:
...the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact...
SCOTUS was doing its Constitutionally mandated duty when it wrote the Miranda decision.

Last edited by TwoByFour; Yesterday at 02:35 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Barrington
46,492 posts, read 34,323,366 times
Reputation: 15472
1966 Miranda v Arizona
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Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
17,244 posts, read 34,769,965 times
Reputation: 16410
It seems to me that if someone is documented to have been read their Miranda rights, it should be good "coverage" for at least 1-5 years. And anyone who has been arrested or convicted, should especially know their rights, so the police shouldn't have to be on the hook to recite the Miranda rights to them every single time that they encounter law enforcement. Geesh.
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,513 posts, read 60,123,046 times
Reputation: 54203
Quote:
Originally Posted by miu View Post
It seems to me that if someone is documented to have been read their Miranda rights, it should be good "coverage" for at least 1-5 years. And anyone who has been arrested or convicted, should especially know their rights, so the police shouldn't have to be on the hook to recite the Miranda rights to them every single time that they encounter law enforcement. Geesh.
Geesh, indeed. What a dumb idea.

How in the hell is a police officer in Jurisdiction A, State A supposed to know that a suspect has had their rights read to them two years ago by a police officer in Jurisdiction B, State B? If there is no arrest, there is no official record of the suspect being informed of their rights. I doubt Jurisdiction B, State B is sharing with police departments nationwide the fact that in 2016 they detained a person under suspicion for a crime but let that person go 20 minutes later because no crime had been committed by that person.
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Old Yesterday, 02:29 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,277 posts, read 1,443,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuebald View Post
It wasn't "some judge". It was SCOTUS.
OK, nine judges. So?
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Old Yesterday, 02:32 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,277 posts, read 1,443,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
SCOTUS was doing it Constitutionally mandated duty when it wrote the Miranda decision.
Does Article 3 mean that SCOTUS can rewrite the Constitution willy-nilly whenever they want (as the did in the Miranda decision)?

No. The USSC did NOT do its Constitutionally mandated duty. It abrogated that duty.
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Old Yesterday, 02:39 PM
 
Location: AZ
2,110 posts, read 446,323 times
Reputation: 956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboteer View Post
Does Article 3 mean that SCOTUS can rewrite the Constitution willy-nilly whenever they want (as the did in the Miranda decision)?

No. The USSC did NOT do its Constitutionally mandated duty. It abrogated that duty.
Except they didn’t “rewrite the constitution” as you so frivolously claim.......do they not teach basic civics anymore in school?
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Old Yesterday, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,382 posts, read 2,651,970 times
Reputation: 6445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboteer View Post
Does Article 3 mean that SCOTUS can rewrite the Constitution willy-nilly whenever they want (as the did in the Miranda decision)?

No. The USSC did NOT do its Constitutionally mandated duty. It abrogated that duty.
This is how democracy works. We don't always agree with decisions and details but we all agree to live by it anyway. You can try to change it with a Constitutional Amendment if you don't like it.
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