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Miranda Rights are the result of the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, in which the Supreme Court ruled when a person is taken into police custody, and before being questioned, they must be informed of their Fifth Amendment right against making self-incriminating statements.
Anyone in police custody must be told five things before being questioned:
• You have the right to remain silent.
• If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.
• You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning.
• If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
• If you choose to talk to the police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.
In March 1963, police arrested 23-year-old Ernesto Miranda as a suspect in two crimes involving robbery and rape. Miranda had prior arrests for armed robbery and a juvenile record which included attempted rape, assault, and burglary. Both victims identified Miranda in police lineups. During questioning, Miranda confessed to both crimes, and signed a confession to the rape which included a statement that he had full knowledge of his rights and understood that the confession could be used against him.
The Supreme Court reversed Miranda's conviction and ruled that "an individual held for interrogation must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and have the lawyer with him during interrogation...[that he has] the right to remain silent and that anything stated can be used in evidence against him...that if he is indigent a lawyer will be appointed to represent him."
Miranda was paroled in 1972. He was killed in January 1976, in a bar fight. The suspected killer exercised his Miranda right to remain silent and was released.