Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book 'em Danno

This morning our local station did a "Timeline" story, a story where they explain something significant that happened this day, June 13. Now I would have thought they would have recognized my son-in-law's birthday or maybe granddaughter #3's one month birthday, but rather they focused on a court decision, the decision of Miranda v. Arizona.
Most of us are familiar with the Miranda decision, from watching television (analog or digital). The decision (1966) marked a time when the Supreme Court ruled that an individual must be told his rights when arrested, you know, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.
But I got to thinking, whatever happened to Mr. Miranda? Well Wikipedia is always a good source, especially if you aren't writing a paper. In this Wikipedia article, it's all spelled out. Seems 22 year old Ernesto Miranda was arrested for robbery and while under arrest, he confessed to raping a girl 2 days earlier. At trial, his victim positively identified him and his confession was entered into the courts.
The Supreme Court indicated that Miranda didn't know (or wasn't told) his rights and sent the case back to trial. Now Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story. When the case went back to trial, the prosecution entered the same witnesses and "other evidence" (Wikipedia isn't known for detail). The result? Miranda was convicted, sentenced to 20 to 30 years, served 5 years in jail, was released on parole and went on to lead the life of a prosperous citizen.
Well, maybe not that last part. Seems he spent time autographing Miranda cards for police officers and then was stabbed to death in a bar argument four years later. Even when given the protection of his full rights, he was still convicted. And in his final trial, he was afforded the same rights he gave his earlier victim.
Moral of the story: Just because someone gets a big case named after them, doesn't mean they weren't guilty.

No comments: