The Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment

Fifth Amendment

In what famous decision did the U.S. Supreme Court establish certain rights to persons facing interrogation and questioning from police?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in four consolidated cases—Miranda v. Arizona, Vignera v. New York, Westover v. United States, and California v. Stewart—that law enforcement officials could not use statements obtained from a police interrogation unless they demonstrated the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. The Court held that police violate the Fifth Amendment if they do not inform a suspect prior to questioning that he or she has: (1) a right to remain silent; (2) that any statement he or she makes can be used against them in a court of law; (3) that he or she has the right to have an attorney present during questioning; and (4) that if he or she cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to them. If law enforcement officials fail to provide these procedural safeguards, the Court said that evidence obtained during such interrogations cannot be used against the suspect.


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