Miranda Decision

Carroll Cooley and Joe Giacalone

The Miranda Decision Turns 51

June 13, 2017, marks the 51st Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in  Miranda v. Arizona. Much has changed in American Policing over that time period, however, one thing has remained the same – the use of Miranda Warnings. Before questioning a suspect in custody, the police must warn them of their rights.

Chief Justice Earl Warren wanted to be absolutely clear: Law enforcement officers cannot come up with an excuse not to warn someone in custody of their rights. For over fifty years now, law enforcement officers all over the United States have been reading the Miranda Warnings to persons in custody under questioning.

The Miranda Warnings:

You have the right to an attorney
Anything you say can be used against you in the court of law.
You have a right to speak to an attorney and to have an attorney present during any questioning.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you at no charge.

I had the opportunity to sit down with retired Phoenix Police Captain, Carroll Cooley. Then a detective catching cases, Carroll happened to be a right place at the right time. On March 3, 1963, a young female was raped and robbed at gunpoint in the Phoenix desert. Within a few days of his investigation, Detective Cooley arrested Ernesto Miranda for Rape, Robbery and several other charges. Little did he know that he would become a footnote in American History.

In the next few weeks, my team and I will be releasing a series of Crime Study Challenges. The first Challenge will be about the Ernesto Miranda case from the crime scene, arrest and subsequent Miranda decision. In addition, I spoke with two attorneys, Robert Jensen and Paul Ulrich who played a pivotal role in the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Who actually wrote the Miranda Warnings? You’ll have to tune to find out! In the meantime, watch the trailer and meet one of the most famous cops in American History!