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Changes to the Miranda Warning

Changes to the Miranda Warning

Since 1966, the Miranda warning has reminded criminal suspects of their rights as the accused. After a landmark Supreme Court case, law enforcement officials were required to inform suspects of these rights as they were placed under arrest. However, in a 2010 Supreme Court session, the justices trimmed down the Miranda rights and gave them more specific limits.

First, it is important to understand the history of the Miranda warning. In a kidnapping and rape case in Phoenix, Arizona, the suspect suffered through intense police interrogation after he was arrested as a criminal suspect in the case. The man, Ernesto Miranda, signed a statement after the interrogation admitting to the crime. However, several decisions later, Miranda’s case landed on the desk of the Supreme Court, which ruled that the Constitutional rights that protected Miranda against self-incrimination and gave him the right to an attorney were violated.

Following Miranda’s case, any law enforcement officials making an arrest were required to inform the suspect of these “Miranda rights” to prevent self-incrimination and to allow access to a lawyer. While this longstanding warning is still given to criminal suspects, the Supreme Court has limited the interpretation of these rights.

First, even though criminal suspects are still given the right to remain silent, they must now speak up and specifically tell the law enforcement official that they intend to remain silent. This prevents the police from interrogation and questioning, which can now continue if a suspect stays silent and does not specifically ask for silence.

Next, these changes have placed a time limit on a criminal suspect’s ability to ask for a lawyer. Once a person is released from police custody, the Supreme Court believes that he or she only needs two weeks to decide to ask for an attorney.

Lastly, the Supreme Court also approved one different Miranda warning script for police officers in certain areas of Florida. In this script, the suspect is not informed that he or she can have an attorney present during interrogation.