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The Miranda Rights Essay

1633 words - 7 pages

Ernesto Miranda was born in Mesa, Arizona on March 9, 1941. He first began getting into trouble while he was attending grade school when he was a child. Miranda’s first criminal conviction was in 8th grade. The following year he was convicted for burglary, and sentenced to one year in Arizona State Industrial School for Boys. In 1956, almost a month after his release from reform school, he was walking home one night when he happened to glimpse in a house to where a nude woman was lying on a bed. Miranda then entered the home, which he did through the unlocked front door. He got in the bed with the woman, attempted but failed to have sex with her, and remained in bed with her until her ...view middle of the document...

He also had been arrested in Nashville for driving a stolen car. Since Miranda had driven the stolen vehicle across state lines, Miranda was sentenced to one year and a day in the federal prison system. He had served time in Chillicothe, Ohio and later in Lompoc, California. ( Miranda Vs. Arizona: The Crime That Changed American Justice)
After a couple years staying away from jail, he became a laborer on the night loading dock for the Phoenix produce company. At this time he started living with Twila Hoffman, a 29-year-old single mother with a son and a daughter. Mrs. Hoffman was under law still married. She could not afford to file a divorce with her husband. In the early hours of March 3rd, 1963, an 18-year-old movie theater attendant was walking her way home from work when all of a sudden Miranda dragged her into his car, drove out to the desert, and raped her. Afterwards he dropped the girl off near her home. The story she told police, often vague and contradictory, described her attacker as a Hispanic man wearing glasses, late 20s, who was driving an early fifties car, either a Ford or Chevrolet. By chance, one week later, the girl and her brother-in-law saw what she believed was the car, a 1953 Packard, license plate DFL-312. Records showed that this plate was actually registered to a late model Oldsmobile, but DFL-317. It was a Packard, registered to a Twila N. Hoffman; and her boyfriend, Ernesto Miranda, now 23, fit the attacker's description almost exactly. On March 13, Miranda was woken up at his home by Mrs. Hoffman and was told to go downtown for questioning about the rape and armed robbery. Miranda had stolen $8 from a bank worker just eleven days before the rape. He then was taken to police headquarters where he was immediately placed into a line-up with three other Hispanic males of similar height and build, though none wore glasses. The victim did not positively identify Miranda but said that he bore the closest resemblance to her attacker. Detectives Carroll Cooley and Wilfred Young then took Miranda into an interrogation room. He was told, inaccurately, that he had been identified. Two hours later Miranda signed a written confession. He did not voluntarily consent. The confession included a typed disclaimer, stating that Miranda had ‘full knowledge of his legal rights, understanding any statement he makes may be used against him.’ and that he had knowingly waived those rights. The police had violated Miranda’s 5th Amendment right to remain silent and is a resource of self-incrimination. They had also violated his 6th amendment right to legal counsel. Cooley had said that he assumed that Miranda had known his rights because he had been an ex-convict that has been through the routine before.
Miranda was given a lawyer, Alvin Moore, for his court trial. After reviewing Miranda’s record, Moore felt that an insanity defense would be appropriate, and filed notice of his strategy one day...

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