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Officers on the job before 1966 knew that the right to remain silent was guaranteed by the Constitution, but no officer from that era ever thought it was his job to remind offenders of their rights. That changed with the arrest of Ernesto Miranda in March 1963 and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that followed.
Once a custodial suspect has been given Miranda warnings and has acknowledged his understanding, he might waive his rights and submit to questioning, or he might invoke—either by indicating that he doesn't want to talk, or by requesting counsel.
Identifying the perpetrator and clearing innocent suspects are crucial goals of every criminal investigation, and both depend on the use of reliable evidence. The Supreme Court has applied a constitutional due process test to the admissibility of testimony about an eyewitness's pretrial ID.
Of the 55 subsequent Supreme Court opinions on Miranda issues, 14 have involved attempts to clarify the meaning of "custody," and in 12 of those 14, the Supreme Court reversed the decisions of state and federal appellate courts, which got it wrong.
The genesis of the Miranda warnings can be traced to March 13, 1963, when Ernesto Arturo Miranda was arrested by officers of the Phoenix Police Department for stealing $4 from a bank worker and for the kidnap and rape of another woman.
Miranda warnings are triggered by a simple formula: Custody + Interrogation = The requirement for Miranda warnings. A motorist is not in "custody" for Miranda purposes when he or she is detained for an ordinary traffic stop.
Most law enforcement officers are familiar with the term “Brady error.” But what exactly does the Brady rule cover, and what obligation does it impose on police? Under the Brady line of cases, when must officers preserve evidence, and what must be revealed to the prosecutor? These questions have been answered in a series of opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Law enforcement officers are quite familiar with the court-created "right" to counsel established by the Miranda opinion, to protect the Fifth Amendment trial privilege against compelled self-incrimination. But it applies only during police custodial interrogation.
A criminal suspect has a Fifth Amendment right not to be compelled to incriminate himself, so he cannot be forced to make a statement. But if he is lawfully in custody, he can be compelled to submit to particular tests or to provide exemplars of his physical attributes. Under some circumstances, he can also be compelled to behave in certain ways (“modeling”) in order to assist in identification.