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Kmart Analysis

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Does the Miranda Rights benefit the defendant too much where as the courts throw out voluntary confessions? The Fifth Amendment clearly states "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. (U.S Constitution Fifth Amendment) When arresting citizens, officers must inform the individual of his or her rights or the statement that was said will be disregarded in the court of law. (U.S. Gov Info/Miranda: Right of Silence) These rights are called Miranda rights which protect citizens of the U.S. from self incrimination. (See cases Miranda v Arizona, Dickerson v United States and Escobedo v Illinois) "If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning. If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to police, they must respect his decision to remain silent." (U.S. Gov Info/Miranda: Right of Silence) The dominant key participants would be the prosecution, police officers, and the supreme courts. The challengers would be the defendant, attorney, and the protestors if any.

Paul Cassell, a University of Utah law professor will try to argue the case before the Supreme Court. Mr. Cassell thinks that the Miranda Requirements needs to be loosen. Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000) was a case where the courts had to litigate over whether his statements were voluntary and if he waived his Miranda Rights. Mr. Cassell argues his case to Stephen Sharpio, who is a legal director of the American Civil Liberties. Mr Sharpio thinks that the Miranda is a win win situation because it informs the defendant of their rights and he says "it makes confession easier at trial." Mr. Cassell also states that crime has increase after the Miranda laws were inforced from the years 1950-1965 he says "police officers solve crimes about 60% of the time but fell dramatically." According to Cassell about 70,000 cases each year become unsolved because of Miranda and criminals are set free to commit crimes again. The two court cases that still has litigation over till this day is the Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000) and Miranda v Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) The problem or issue is that when is a statement from a defendant coerced or voluntary? One of the things that produce the Miranda rule was the difficulty of determining whether a statement is voluntary or coerced. Stephen Sharpio says that "the courts were required to look at whole range of factors to decide whether or not the confession was voluntary." The courts say that "they will continue to look for the truth in all cases and give juries all reliable evidence to make the decision." Here are two key cases that shocked the world in their reversed decisions to throw out confessional evidence and to give a new trial.

Miranda v Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966 )In the Miranda v Arizona case the defendant made statements in custodial interrogation that violated his Fifth and Sixth Amendment Rights. The defendant wasn't told his rights and that he had the right to remain silent and therefore; the decision was reversed, statements that were made was thrown out of court, and he was given a new trial. Under Miranda, prior to interrogation, a person in custody must be told of the right to remain silent and the likelihood that statements made by the person will be used against him or her in court. (Miranda v Arizona: A Primer) When the Miranda rules are not followed, statements are excluded for three reasons namely: to 1)avoid the risk that statements were compelled in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights, 2)to encourage officers to comply with the Miranda rules, thereby lessening the future likelihood of compelled self-incrimination, and 3)to discourage the kinds of unsavory police practices that tended to "compel" confessions from suspects. (Miranda v Arizona: A Primer) The status of this case Miranda was convicted on the basis of other evidence, and served 11 years. He was paroled in 1972, and died in 1976 at the age of 34, after being stabbed in a bar fight. Another case that dealt with the right to remain silence was Dickerson v the United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000).

Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000) was a case that the defendant made statements in the interrogation room that he was the getaway driver in several bank robberies and he was then arrested by the authorities. After Dickerson was charged for the bank robberies he then argued that he was not read his rights until after he made the statement. (The Oyez Project: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia) "The District Court granted Dickerson's motion, finding that he had not been read his Miranda Rights or signed a waiver until after he made his statement, but the court did not address section 3501. In reversing, the Court of Appeals acknowledged that Dickerson had not received Miranda warnings, but held that section 3501 was satisfied because his statement was voluntary." (The Oyez Project: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia) The court overruled in a 7-4 decision saying that the "statement was voluntary and that Miranda was not a constitutional holding, and that, therefore, Congress could by statute have the final say on the admissibility question. These two cases were controversial because the statements that the defendants gave were after their rights were read and caused a important part of their case to be self incrimination. And it was the courts obligation to determine if the the statements were voluntary and would be overruled. The interest at stake for the dominant (prosecution, police officers, the courts, and government) group can be met and not be met at certain circumstances. Their interest at stake would be that the defendant or defendants make statements that would self incriminate him or her self but after they have read them their rights. Their interest would also be to have them in custody and the interrogation rooms and interrogate them before their lawyer comes hoping that they would confess to the crime. Interest for the courts would be more money is being spent on this trial so the courts would allow as many appeals they can give. The prosecution will be looking for big name and after they try to win a case and this particular case will advance their careers. Their interest at stake will not be met if the arresting officer forgets



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