B.L.A.B. Bottom Line At Bottom

In 1967 a bad dude was arrested in connection to a rape and kidnapping. He was also charged with robbery where he matched the description.

Appellant was convicted of the crime of kidnapping, Count I; and Rape, Count II; and sentenced to serve from twenty to thirty years on each count, to run concurrently. From the judgment and sentence of the court he appeals. Appellant, hereinafter called defendant, was in another information charged with the crime of robbery. After arraignment in the instant case, on motion of the county attorney, the trial on the robbery case was consolidated with the instant case, but thereafter one day prior to the trial of this case separate trials were granted. Defendant was tried and convicted on the robbery charge, from which he is also appealing in the companion case…

Here is the court’s description of the case:

The facts, as they relate to the defense as charged under Counts I and II in the instant case are as follows: On March 3, 1963, the complaining witness a girl eighteen years of age had been working in the concession stand at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Phoenix, and had taken the bus to 7th Street and Marlette. After getting off the bus, she had started to walk toward her home. She observed a car, which afterwards proved to be defendant’s, which had been parked behind the ballet school on Marlette. The car pulled out of the lot, and came so close to her that she had to jump back to prevent being hit. It then parked across from some apartments in the same block. Defendant then left his car, walked toward her, and grabbed her. He told her not to scream, that he would not hurt her. He held her hands behind her back, put a hand over her mouth, and pulled her toward the car. He put her in the back seat, tied her hands and feet, and put a sharp thing to her neck and said to her “Feel this.” She stated it all happened so suddenly that she did not have time to do anything. Defendant was unknown to the complaining witness. She had not seen him before, and he was not related to her in any way.

He then drove the car for about twenty minutes, during which time complaining witness was lying in the back seat crying. When defendant stopped the car, he came to the back seat, and untied her hands and feet. He told her to pull off her clothes. She said “no,” whereupon he started to remove them. She tried to push away from him, but he proceeded to remove her clothing. And, then, after one unsuccessful attempt, made a successful sexual penetration, while she pushed with her hands and was screaming. She testified:
*22 “I was pushing against him with my hands. I kept screaming, I was trying to get away but he was a lot stronger than I was, and I couldn’t do anything.”

He then drove her to 12th Street and Rose Lane, during which time she dressed. She ran home, and told her family, who called the police. Her sister testified that the complaining witness came home that morning crying and looking as if she had been in a fight. On March 13, 1963, defendant was apprehended by the police. The officers who picked him up both testified that he was put into the “line-up” and was identified by complaining witness. Thereafter he confessed that he had forced complaining witness into his car, drove away with her, and raped her. After these statements he signed a statement, partly typed and partly in his own handwriting, which was substantially to the same effect as the testimony of the officers. Defendant offered no evidence in his defense at the trial of his case.

So there you have it. Open and shut case. Dude stalked this girl, grabbed her off the street, forced her into his car, threatened her with a knife, then raped her. He then drove off with her and later released her.

When the cops arrested him, he confessed. At his trial he offered no evidence in his defense.

He was guilt, the judge knew it, the jury knew it. He was found guilty and sentenced to 20 to 30 years.

At the same time he confessed to the robbery but didn’t sign a written confession. He was found guilty of the robbery as well and sentenced to 20 to 30 years.

The law at work.

This court appointed lawyer, at trial claimed that his client was to ignorant to knew he had rights under the constitution. That he just talked to the cops and then signed his confession. Because he didn’t have his lawyer present, his confession should not be admitted.

The court disagreed and the confession was entered into evidence.

After he was found guilty, he appealed to the Arizona Supreme court.

Defendant contends that admission into evidence of his written confession was error for the reason that he did not have an attorney at the time the statement was made and signed. The police officers Young and Cooley testified to oral statements made to them before the signing of the written confession. Their testimony was substantially the same. They first saw defendant at his home at 2525 West Maricopa on March 13, 1963, when they went there for the purpose of investigating a rape. They took defendant to the police station and placed him in a “line-up” with “four other Mexican males, all approximately the same age and height, build,” and brought in the complaining witness who identified him as the one who had perpetrated the acts against her. Then they immediately interrogated him. They advised him of his rights. They testified that he made the statement of his own free will; and that there were no threats, or use of force and coercion, or promises of immunity; that they had informed him of his legal rights and that any statement he made might be used against him.

Having weighed all of the arguments and evidence, the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the conviction in the rape case.

Justice is served, a bad dude is in prison for 20-30 years. A raped woman gets to face the animal and help send him to prison.

Unfortunately, this scumbag wasn’t done abusing the court system. He appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. His claim was that since he didn’t have his lawyer present when he gave his confession that it shouldn’t have been admitted into evidence at trial.

The Supreme Court combined his case with others and in 1966 issued their opinion.

Our holding will be spelled out with some specificity in the pages which follow but briefly stated it is this: the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. By custodial interrogation, we mean questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. As for the procedural safeguards to be employed, unless other fully effective means are devised to inform accused persons of their right of silence and to assure a continuous opportunity to exercise it, the following measures are required. Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. The defendant may waive effectuation of these rights, provided the waiver is made voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. If, however, he indicates in any manner and at any stage of the process that he wishes to consult with an attorney before speaking there can be no questioning. Likewise, if the individual is alone and indicates in any manner that he does not wish to be interrogated, the police may not question him. The mere fact that he may have answered some questions or volunteered some statements on his own does not deprive him of the right to refrain from answering any further inquiries until he has consulted with an attorney and thereafter consents to be questioned.

Bottom Line At Bottom

This is the famous Miranda v. Arizona case. The Supreme court case that lead to “Miranda Warnings”. This is good case law. Unfortunately it meant that Miranda’s conviction was overturned. He was retried with his confession not being admitted into evidence. He as found guilty again and sentenced to 20-30 years. His robbery conviction was not overturned.

A good outcome in the end, both for Case Law and for society by putting this animal away for decades.

State of Arizona v. Ernest Arthur Miranda, 98 Ariz 18(1965) No. 1394

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 – Supreme Court 1966

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By awa

3 thoughts on “Case Law example”
  1. And, a cautionary note. Contrary to what politicians and cop shows tell us, the scope of Miranda is quite narrow. If you’re not being detained (that “custodial interrogation” thing), the cops don’t need to give you the warning. They can even lie to you about the purpose of their inquiries. Be very leery of answering official questions, whether they sound official or not.

    1. The example I was given was of a guy that was arrested. The cops asked him “What the fuck did you think you were doing?” and he admitted he was trying to break into someplace to kill the occupant.
      At trial they tried to get his case dismissed because the cops hadn’t “Mirandized” him.
      As the Prosecutor pointed out, we aren’t using his “confession”, he was arrested inside the home with a gun in his hand. We have evidence of him talking about going to the victim’s home to kill them.
      Guy was found guilty. Maranda isn’t a get out of jail free. As he, himself, proved. Even with his confession excluded, he was still found guilty.

  2. >> This is good case law. Unfortunately it meant that Miranda’s conviction was overturned.
    >> He was retried with his confession not being admitted into evidence. He as found guilty
    >> again and sentenced to 20-30 years. His robbery conviction was not overturned.
    This is absolutely the best outcome, and the best way to get there, in my very strong opinion.

    Winning the fight in obvious cases is useless. It makes you feel good, and it should happen of course. But it isn’t what good case law gets made out of. Feel good convictions are not ones that bring about ire.

    Miranda got his confession taken off the record. GOOD. When they nailed him, they did it on the evidence, of which there was a lot. And that’s how it works.

    When someone gets thrown in jail for beating his g/f to a bloody pulp and then shooting up a neighborhood bar, and he goes to court and is convicted of also having smoked a spliff… well, no, that spliff should be besides the point. He’s a great one to use as an example of case law. Overturn the marijuana charge, absolutely. Then nail the guy to the wall for beating his g/f and shooting up a bar. No one has any fuzzy feelings about the guy.

    Why is that good? Because when someone on the other side of the aisle (and which side depends on the case) says that it “didn’t count”, we can easily show that yes, it did. Miranda went to jail for bad stuff. My example went to jail for bad stuff. They did NOT go to jail for things that were outside the scope of the law. It’s not only possible but *important* to overturn bad laws, to challenge questionable ones, and to audit even the good ones on a fairly regular basis.

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