June 13, 1966
MIRANDA v. ARIZONA
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA
In each of these cases, the defendant, while in
police custody, was questioned by police officers, detectives, or a
prosecuting attorney in a room in which he was cut off from the outside
world. None of the defendants was given a full and effective warning of
his rights at the outset of the interrogation process. In all four cases,
the questioning elicited oral admissions, and, in three of them, signed
statements as well, which were admitted at their trials. All defendants
were convicted, and all convictions, except in No. 584, were affirmed on
- The prosecution may not use statements, whether
exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from questioning initiated by law
enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or
otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way,
unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to
secure the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination.
- (a) The atmosphere and environment of
incommunicado interrogation as it exists today is inherently
intimidating, and works to undermine the privilege against
self-incrimination. Unless adequate preventive measures are taken
to dispel the compulsion inherent in custodial surroundings, no
statement obtained from the defendant can truly be the product of
his free choice.
- (b) The privilege against self-incrimination,
which has had a long and expansive historical development, is the
essential mainstay of our adversary system, and guarantees to the
individual the "right to remain silent unless he chooses to
speak in the unfettered exercise of his own will," during a
period of custodial interrogation as well as in the courts or
during the course of other official investigations.
- (c) The decision in Escobedo v. Illinois,
stressed the need for protective devices to make the process of
police interrogation conform to the dictates of the privilege.
- (d) In the absence of other effective
measures, the following procedures to safeguard the Fifth
Amendment privilege must be observed: the person in custody must,
prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right
to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against
him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to
consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during
interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be
appointed to represent him.
- (e) If the individual indicates, prior to or
during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the
interrogation must cease; if he states that he wants an attorney,
the questioning must cease until an attorney is present.
- (f) Where an interrogation is conducted
without the presence of an attorney and a statement is taken, a
heavy burden rests on the Government to demonstrate that the
defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel.
- (g) Where the individual answers some
questions during in-custody interrogation, he has not waived his
privilege, and may invoke his right to remain silent thereafter.
- (h) The warnings required and the waiver
needed are, in the absence of a fully effective equivalent,
prerequisites to the admissibility of any statement, inculpatory
or exculpatory, made by a defendant.
- The limitations on the interrogation process
required for the protection of the individual's constitutional rights
should not cause an undue interference with a proper system of law
enforcement, as demonstrated by the procedures of the FBI and the
safeguards afforded in other jurisdictions.
- In each of these cases, the statements were
obtained under circumstances that did not meet constitutional
standards for protection of the privilege against self-incrimination.