“You have the right to remain silent….” Anyone who has seen a cop show in the past half century knows the rest. This phrase is called the Miranda warning, and it comes from a Supreme Court opinion that was announced 51 years ago today. Miranda v. Arizona established the idea that criminal defendants must be informed of their rights to an attorney and against self-incrimination prior to interrogation in order for any of their statements to be admissible in court.
In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested and charged with kidnapping, rape and armed robbery. After he was picked out in a police lineup, Miranda was subjected to a prolonged interrogation, after which he confessed. Miranda, a 9th grade dropout, was not informed of his constitutional rights. Based largely on his confession, Miranda was found guilty and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison.
Miranda appealed, and in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Miranda’s rights had been violated. The language of what would go on to become the Miranda warning was taken nearly word-for-word from the Supreme Court opinion authored by Chief Justice Earl Warren. “He must be warned prior to any questioning,” wrote Warren, “that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that, if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.”
Learn more in our film The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona.
The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona has won a 2014 Clarion Award in the Educational Video Production category. Watch our film about this landmark Supreme Court Case here.
Our film “The Right to Remain Silent” on the landmark Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona has received a Silver Screen Award at the 2014 US International Film and Video Festival. Watch our award-winning film here.
At the 2014 Spring International CINDY Competition, The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona received a Gold Award in the category of Education: K-12 and Special Achievement Awards for both Editing and Direction. Watch our film here.
Our film “The Right to Remain Silent” on the landmark Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona has won a Distinguished Achievement Award as an educational resource at the 2014 REVERE Awards, presented by the Association of American Publishers. To watch the film, click here.
Our film “The Right to Remain Silent” on the landmark Supreme Court criminal rights case Miranda v. Arizona won a Bronze Medal from the 2014 New York Festival’s International Film and TV Awards. You can watch our film here. To learn more about the New York Festivals, please visit their website.
Earlier this week a former aide to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, cited her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when she announced she would not hand over documents in response to a subpoena issued by a legislative panel investigating allegations of politically-motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. Learn more about the Fifth Amendment, the right against self-incrimination and the landmark Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona that ensured the protection of that right for all people accused of a crime by watching our film, The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona.