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U.S. Supreme Court
MIRANDA v. ARIZONA, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

  1. See p. 454 , supra.
    1. Lord Devlin has commented: It is probable that, even today, when there is much less ignorance about these matters than formerly, there is still a general belief that you must answer all questions put to you by a policeman, or at least that it will be the worse for you if you do not.
    2. Devlin, The Criminal Prosecution in England 32 (1958). In accord with our decision today, it is impermissible to penalize an individual for exercising his Fifth Amendment privilege when he is under police custodial interrogation. The prosecution may not, therefore, use at trial the fact that he stood mute or claimed his privilege in the face of accusation. Cf. Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609 (1965); Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1 , 8 (1964); Comment, 31 U.Chi.L.Rev. 556 (1964); Developments in the Law — Confessions, 79 Harv.L.Rev. 935, 1041-1044 (1966). See also Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, 562 (1897).
  2. Cf. Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455 (1942), and the recurrent inquiry into special circumstances it necessitated. See generally Kamisar, Betts v. Brady Twenty Years Later: The Right to Counsel and Due Process Values, 61 Mich.L.Rev. 219 (1962).
  3. See Herman, The Supreme Court and Restrictions on Police Interrogation, 25 Ohio St.L.J. 440, 480 (1964).
  4. Estimates of 50-90% indigency among felony defendants have been reported. Pollock, Equal Justice in Practice, 45 Minn.L.Rev. 737, 738-739 (1961); Birzon, Kasanof & Forma, The Right to Counsel and the Indigent Accused in Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction in New York State, 14 Buffalo L.Rev. 428, 433 (1965).
  5. See Kamisar, Equal Justice in the Gatehouses and Mansions of American Criminal Procedure, in Criminal Justice in Our Time 1, 64-81 (1965). As was stated in the Report of the Attorney General's Committee on Poverty and the Administration of Federal Criminal Justice 9 (1963): When government chooses to exert its powers in the criminal area, its obligation is surely no less than that of taking reasonable measures to eliminate those factors that are irrelevant to just administration of the law, but which, nevertheless, may occasionally affect determinations of the accused's liability or penalty. While government may not be required to relieve the accused of his poverty, it may properly be required to minimize the influence of poverty on its administration of justice.
  6. Cf. United States ex rel. Brown v. Fay, 242 F.Supp. 273, 277 (D.C.S.D.N.Y.1965); People v. Witenski, 15 N.Y.2d 392, 207 N.E.2d 358, 259 N.Y.S.2d 413 (1965).
  7. While a warning that the indigent may have counsel appointed need not be given to the person who is known to have an attorney or is known to have ample funds to secure one, the expedient of giving a warning is too simple, and the rights involved too important, to engage in ex post facto inquiries into financial ability when there is any doubt at all on that score.
  8. If an individual indicates his desire to remain silent, but has an attorney present, there may be some circumstances in which further questioning would be permissible. In the absence of evidence of overbearing, statements then made in the presence of counsel might be free of the compelling influence of the interrogation process and might fairly be construed as a waiver of the privilege for purposes of these statements.
  9. Although this Court held in Rogers v. United States, 340 U.S. 367 (1951), over strong dissent, that a witness before a grand jury may not in certain circumstances decide to answer some questions and then refuse to answer others, that decision has no application to the interrogation situation we deal with today. No legislative or judicial factfinding authority is involved here, nor is there a possibility that the individual might make self-serving statements of which he could make use at trial while refusing to answer incriminating statements.
  10. The distinction and its significance has been aptly described in the opinion of a Scottish court: In former times, such questioning, if undertaken, would be conducted by police officers visiting the house or place of business of the suspect and there questioning him, probably in the presence of a relation or friend. However convenient the modern practice may be, it must normally create a situation very unfavourable to the suspect. Chalmer v. H. M. Advocate, [1954] Sess.Cas. 66, 78 (J.C.).
  11. See People v. Dorado, 62 Cal.2d 338, 354, 398 P.2d 361, 371 42 Cal.Rptr. 169, 179 (1965).
  12. In accordance with our holdings today and in Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478 , 492 , Crooker v. California, 357 U.S. 433 (1958) and Cicenia v. Lagay, 357 U.S. 504 (1958), are not to be followed.
  13. In quoting the above from the dissenting opinion of Mr. Justice Brandeis we, of course, do not intend to pass on the constitutional questions involved in the Olmstead case.
  14. Schaefer, Federalism and State Criminal Procedure, 70 Harv.L.Rev. 1, 26 (1956).
  15. Miranda, Vignera, and Westover were identified by eyewitnesses. Marked bills from the bank robbed were found in Westover's car. Articles stolen from the victim as well as from several other robbery victims were found in Stewart's home at the outset of the investigation.
  16. Dealing as we do here with constitutional standards in relation to statements made, the existence of independent corroborating evidence produced at trial is, of course, irrelevant to our decisions. Haynes v. Washington, 373 U.S. 503, 51519 (1963); Lynumn v. Illinois, 372 U.S. 528, 537-538 (1963); Rogers v. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534, 541 (1961); Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 U.S. 199, 206 (1960).
  17. See, e.g., Report and Recommendations of the [District of Columbia] Commissioners' Committee on Police Arrests for Investigation (1962); American Civil Liberties Union, Secret Detention by the Chicago Police (1959). An extreme example of this practice occurred in the District of Columbia in 1958. Seeking three "stocky" young Negroes who had robbed a restaurant, police rounded up 90 persons of that general description. Sixty-three were held overnight before being released for lack of evidence. A man not among the 90 arrested was ultimately charged with the crime. Washington Daily News, January 21, 1958, p. 5, col. 1; Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on H.R. 11477, S. 2970, S. 3325, and S. 3355, 85th Cong., 2d Sess. (July 1958), pp. 40, 78.
  18. In 1952, J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, stated:
    1. Law enforcement, however, in defeating the criminal, must maintain inviolate the historic liberties of the individual. To turn back the criminal, yet, by so doing, destroy the dignity of the individual, would be a hollow victory.
    2. We can have the Constitution, the best laws in the land, and the most honest reviews by courts — but unless the law enforcement profession is steeped in the democratic tradition, maintains the highest in ethics, and makes its work a career of honor, civil liberties will continually — and without end — be violated. . . . The best protection of civil liberties is an alert, intelligent and honest law enforcement agency. There can be no alternative.
    3. . . . Special Agents are taught that any suspect or arrested person, at the outset of an interview, must be advised that he is not required to make a statement and that any statement given can be used against him in court. Moreover, the individual must be informed that, if he desires, he may obtain the services of an attorney of his own choice. Hoover, Civil Liberties and Law Enforcement: The Role of the FBI, 37 Iowa L.Rev. 175, 177-182 (1952).
  19. We agree that the interviewing agent must exercise his judgment in determining whether the individual waives his right to counsel. Because of the constitutional basis of the right, however, the standard for waiver is necessarily high. And, of course, the ultimate responsibility for resolving this constitutional question lies with the courts.
  20. Among the crimes within the enforcement jurisdiction of the FBI are kidnapping, 18 U.S.C. § 1201 (1964 ed.), white slavery, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2421-2423 (1964 ed.), bank robbery, 18 U.S.C. § 2113 (1964 ed.), interstate transportation and sale of stolen property, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2311-2317 (1964 ed.), all manner of conspiracies, 18 U.S.C. § 371 (1964 ed.), and violations of civil rights 18 U.S.C. §§ 241-242 (1964 ed.). See also 18 U.S.C. § 1114 (1964 ed.) (murder of officer or employee of the United States).
  21. [1964] Crim.L.Rev. at 166-170. These Rules provide in part:
    1. Part II. As soon as a police officer has evidence which would afford reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed an offence, he shall caution that person or cause him to be cautioned before putting to him any questions, or further questions, relating to that offence. The caution shall be in the following terms:
      1. You are not obliged to say anything unless you wish to do so, but what you say may be put into writing and given in evidence.
      2. When, after being cautioned a person is being questioned, or elects to make a statement, a record shall be kept of the time and place at which any such questioning or statement began and ended and of the persons present.
    2. Part III . . .(b) It is only in exceptional cases that questions relating to the offence should be put to the accused person after he has been charged or informed that he may be prosecuted.
    3. Part IV. . .All written statements made after caution shall be taken in the following manner:
      1. If a person says that he wants to make a statement, he shall be told that it is intended to make a written record of what he says. He shall always be asked whether he wishes to write down himself what he wants to say; if he says that he cannot write, or that he would like someone to write it for him, a police officer may offer to write the statement for him.
      2. Any person writing his own statement shall be allowed to do so without any prompting, as distinct from indicating to him what matters are material.
      3. The introduction to the Judges' Rules states in part:
      4. Whenever a police officer writes the statement, he shall take down the exact words spoken by the person making the statement, without putting any questions other than such as may be needed to make the statement coherent, intelligible and relevant to the material matters: he shall not prompt him. The prior Rules appear in Devlin, The Criminal Prosecution in England 137-141 (1958). Despite suggestions of some laxity in enforcement of the Rules, and despite the fact some discretion as to admissibility is invested in the trial judge, the Rules are a significant influence in the English criminal law enforcement system. See, e.g., [1964] Crim.L.Rev. at 182, and articles collected in [1960] Crim.L.Rev. at 298-356.
  22. The introduction to the Judges' Rules states in part:
    1. These Rules do not affect the principles. . . (c) That every person at any stage of an investigation should be able to communicate and to consult privately with a solicitor. This is so even if he is in custody provided that, in such a case, no unreasonable delay or hindrance is caused to the processes of investigation or the administration of justice by his doing so. . . .[1964] Crim.L.Rev. at 166-167.
  23. As stated by the Lord Justice General in Chalmers v. H.M Advocate, [1954] Sess.Cas. 66, 78 (J.C.): The theory of our law is that, at the stage of initial investigation, the police may question anyone with a view to acquiring information which may lead to the detection of the criminal; but that, when the stage has been reached at which suspicion, or more than suspicion, has in their view centered upon some person as the likely perpetrator of the crime, further interrogation of that person becomes very dangerous, and, if carried too far, e.g., to the point of extracting a confession by what amounts to cross-examination, the evidence of that confession will almost certainly be excluded. Once the accused has been apprehended and charged, he has the statutory right to a private interview with a solicitor and to be brought before a magistrate with all convenient speed so that he may, if so advised, emit a declaration in presence of his solicitor under conditions which safeguard him against prejudice.
  24. "No confession made to a police officer shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence." Indian Evidence Act § 25.
    1. No confession made by any person whilst he is in the custody of a police officer unless it be made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate, shall be proved as against such person.
    2. Indian Evidence Act § 26. See 1 Ramaswami & Rajagopalan, Law of Evidence in India 553-569 (1962). To avoid any continuing effect of police pressure or inducement, the Indian Supreme Court has invalidated a confession made shortly after police brought a suspect before a magistrate, suggesting: [I]t would, we think, be reasonable to insist upon giving an accused person at least 24 hours to decide whether or not he should make a confession. Sarwan Singh v. State of Punjab, 44 All India Rep. 1957, Sup.Ct. 637, 644.
  25. I Legislative Enactments of Ceylon 211 (1958).
  26. 10 U.S.C. § 831(b) (1964 ed.)
  27. United States v. Rose, 24 CMR 251 (1957); United States v. Gunnels, 23 CMR 354 (1957).
  28. Although no constitution existed at the time confessions were excluded by rule of evidence in 1872, India now has a written constitution which includes the provision that "No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself." Constitution of India, Article 20(3). See Tope, The Constitution of India 63-67 (1960).
  29. Brief for United States in No. 761, Westover v. United States, pp. 44-47; Brief for the State of New York as amicus curiae, pp. 35-39. See also Brief for the National District Attorneys Association as amicus curiae, pp. 23-26.
  30. Miranda was also convicted in a separate trial on an unrelated robbery charge not presented here for review. A statement introduced at that trial was obtained from Miranda during the same interrogation which resulted in the confession involved here. At the robbery trial, one officer testified that, during the interrogation, he did not tell Miranda that anything he said would be held against him or that he could consult with an attorney. The other officer stated that they had both told Miranda that anything he said would be used against him and that he was not required by law to tell them anything.
  31. One of the officers testified that he read this paragraph to Miranda. Apparently, however, he did not do so until after Miranda had confessed orally.
  32. Vignera thereafter successfully attacked the validity of one of the prior convictions, Vignera v. Wilkins, Civ. 9901 (D.C.W.D.N.Y. Dec. 31, 1961) (unreported), but was then resentenced as a second-felony offender to the same term of imprisonment as the original sentence. R. 31-33.
  33. The failure of defense counsel to object to the introduction of the confession at trial, noted by the Court of Appeals and emphasized by the Solicitor General, does not preclude our consideration of the issue. Since the trial was held prior to our decision in Escobedo and, of course, prior to our decision today making the objection available, the failure to object at trial does not constitute a waiver of the claim. See, e.g., United States ex rel. Angelet v. Fay, 333 F.2d 12, 16 (C.A.2d Cir.1964), aff'd, 381 U.S. 654 (1965). Cf. Ziffrin, Inc. v. United States, 318 U.S. 73, 78 (1943).
  34. Because of this disposition of the case, the California Supreme Court did not reach the claims that the confession was coerced by police threats to hold his ailing wife in custody until he confessed, that there was no hearing as required by Jackson v. Denno, 378 U.S. 368 (1964), and that the trial judge gave an instruction condemned by the California Supreme Court's decision in People v. Morse, 60 Cal.2d 631, 388 P.2d 33, 36 Cal.Rptr. 201 (1964).
  35. After certiorari was granted in this case, respondent moved to dismiss on the ground that there was no final judgment from which the State could appeal, since the judgment below directed that he be retried. In the event respondent was successful in obtaining an acquittal on retrial, however, under California law the State would have no appeal. Satisfied that, in these circumstances, the decision below constituted a final judgment under 28 U.S.C. § 1257(3) (1964 ed.), we denied the motion. 383 U.S. 903.