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Law Essay Example: Miranda v. Arizona and Minnick v. Mississippi

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Wesleyan University
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Miranda v Arizona is a landmark case that was heard in the United States in the 1960s. The Supreme Court ruled the case against arrested individuals concerning the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution. Miranda v Arizona entailed a man who was arrested and charged with rape and kidnapping and afterward questioned and interrogated. After the interrogation process, Miranda would be asked to sign a form indicating that he was told about his legal rights and agreed to the terms (Zalman, 2010). The truth was that Miranda had no information about his right to an attorney or he should remain silent before interrogation. In this case, the officers had violated Mirandas Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights by refusing to embrace Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Zalman, 2010). The final ruling of the case concluded that Miranda was not aware of his right to a counsel and going silent before the process of interrogation took place.

Miranda v Arizona played a significant role in building a room for citizens to realize justice in court procedures. The court concluded that all needy suspects should get a counsel if they are experiencing capital problems. The law states that law enforcement officers should not use any force while gathering information from a suspect (Swanson et al., 2012). Any information that is obtained from a defendant through force is not allowed by the constitutional rules, and that is why suspects have a right to silence before interrogation so that they make consultations with their attorneys. A lot of changes in the way that suspects are handled by police was observed in Miranda v Arizona, but the decisions by the Supreme Court changed the situations that defendants found themselves before.

Petitioner Minnick ran away from the prison with another inmate where they killed two people as they escaped. When Minnick was arrested, the FBI questioned him but he requested for counsel, and the detectives stopped questioning him. The lawyer had a conversation with Minnick, but after few days, the Mississippi police arrived and started interrogating Minnick in the absence of the lawyer (Wolff, 1991). Minnick declined the interviews, but he was told that he could not refuse, so he gave out some information. Minnick was convicted of murder where he argued that his to right to counsel was violated, but later the Mississippi Supreme court supported the conviction. Consequently, the United States Supreme Court overturned the case and concluded that even if a suspect is given counsel, interrogation should not be conducted until the lawyer is present. The court also clarified that when a defendant talks to a lawyer once, he is she should not go through forceful interrogation from the police.

There is a relationship between Miranda v Arizona and Minnick v Mississippi cases because in both of them there is a violation of suspects rights (Rosenberg, 2001). The two cases are significant to interviewing and interrogation as there was the reliability of justice to the suspects. A defendant has a right to counsel if they are experiencing problems to get one due to capital issues. A suspect is also allowed to communicate with the counsel s as to get advice before being interrogated by the police. It is the reason why a defendant has a right to silence before interrogation so that they consult their lawyers. Through this cases, The United States Supreme Court realized the need to have justice for suspects so that forceful investigation from the police comes to an end.



Rosenberg, I. M. (2001). Miranda, Minnick, and the Morality of Confessions. Am. J. Crim. L., 19, 1.

Swanson, C.R., Chamelin, N.C., Territo, L., & Taylor, R.W. (2012). Criminal investigation (11th Ed.) NewYork, NY: McGraw-Hill

Wolff, N. G. (1991). Minnick v. Mississippi: The Supreme Court Reinforces a Suspect's Right to Have Counsel Present During Custodial Interrogation. Mo. L. Rev., 56, 1157.

Zalman, M. (2010). Miranda v. Arizona. Criminal Procedure and the Supreme Court: A Guide to the Major Decisions on Search and Seizure, Privacy, and Individual Rights, 239.


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