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GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 291 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1
The decade known as “The Sixties” saw many changes in American lifestyle, and development of political and cultural movements. Not to be outdone, the U. S. Supreme Court broke new ground in a variety of areas, not the least of which was in the interpretation, clarification and enhancement of the rights of the accused in criminal cases. Three of its decisions, Mapp v. Ohio, Gideon v. Wainwright and Miranda v.
Arizona have weathered numerous storms in the past fifty (50) years, bringing many to question just what will be their legacy. Are the three principals in those cases to be considered and remembered as common criminals, or constitutional trailblazers? Surely there can be ample support for either conclusion. Yet, what were the foundations for the Supreme Court’s rulings, and how are these cases viewed today, after all the intervening years? Is the criminal element of society being coddled, and law enforcement being hamstrung, or, have personal freedoms and protections been championed, and has law enforcement become more efficient and professional due to the Court’s mandates? This paper will go back to the roots of these decisions, journey forward to the present, and venture a look to the future of these ground-breaking holdings.
JEL: K3, K4 KEYWORDS: Search and Seizure, Right to Counsel, Self Incrimination
INTRODUCTIONThree unlikely stablemates rode into Supreme Court history in the 1960s, and for the past fifty years have continued their ride through the courtrooms of the criminal justice system. Dollree Mapp, Clarence Earl Gideon and Ernesto Miranda were known to virtually no one but their neighbors when they were arrested in their cities of residence: Cleveland, Ohio, Panama City, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona, respectively.
Yet, they became legends in their own times, and any student of American criminal law has heard their tales, read and re-read of their journeys, and had their legacies branded into his or her reservoir of knowledge as to the constitutional rights of the accused. While many are called before the bar of justice to account for their alleged misdeeds, few are chosen by history to stand up and be counted as true landmarks.
Mapp, Gideon and Miranda are among those few. This paper will examine the constitutional underpinnings of their importance, the factual quirks of their backgrounds and ordeals, and show how the principles that came forth from their cases have weathered the test of time.
The Fourth Amendment: The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and outlines requirements for warrants to issue. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Fifth Amendment The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has five clauses/protections to it. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentation or indictment of a Grand GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 292 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1 Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. The so called, “self incrimination”/ “nor shall be compelled…to be a witness against himself…” portion is operative in the discussion at hand.
The Sixth Amendment
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has various protections. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with witnesses against him;
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. It is the “Assistance of Counsel” and the interpretation of Miranda requiring notice to an accused of the right to counsel, and notice of the supplying of free counsel if need be, that is operative in the discussion at hand.
In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Mapp v. Ohio. When this case was discussed in law school, Dollree Mapp was referred to as “old lady Mapp” (to both of the authors, attending different law schools, in the 1960s). In fact, it turns out that Miss Mapp was not old, but relatively young, and there is at least some question whether she was a “lady” in the traditional sense of the term’s usage at that time, as the facts below bring out. Her Cleveland, Ohio, home was raided by police without a warrant. They did not find what they were looking for (a suspected bombing fugitive), but they did find a trunk of pornographic photos and objects. Mapp was convicted for possessing obscene material. Her appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court was denied, and she appealed to the U.S. Supreme court on the grounds that her Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Although the high court had applied the Fourth Amendment to federal prosecutions in the past, and had instituted an “exclusionary rule” for improperly seized evidence in federal cases, the 6-3 decision (see Figure 1, below) in Mapp clearly held that the same rule should also apply in state prosecutions by funneling the Fourth Amendment through the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirements of imposing due process on the states. It is interesting to note that although Mapp’s conviction was reversed, she later ran afoul of the criminal justice system when she was convicted of selling narcotics in 1970 in New York City (Time, 2015).
Supreme Court Justice Opinions and Votes (by Ideology) Decision: 6 votes for Mapp, 3 votes against Legal Provision: Amendment 4: Fourth Amendment Full Opinion by Justice Tom C. Clark Figure 1: Source: the Oyez Project, Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961)
GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 293 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1 Gideon Discussion Gideon v. Wainwright is the landmark case on the right itself to counsel in a criminal proceeding. Clarence Earl Gideon was arrested for allegedly breaking and entering a pool hall in Panama City, Florida in 1961.
Facing felony jail time, he requested and was denied an assigned/appointed attorney. Having no funds for an attorney, he represented himself at trial. For his well-intentioned efforts, he was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to five years in Florida State Prison. He ultimately appealed to the United States Supreme Court, and was appointed Washington, D.C. attorney, Abe Fortas to represent him. (Note: this is the same Abe Fortas that became a Supreme Court Justice, who was one of the five Justices voting in favor of Miranda in the Court’s later 1966 decision, and whose portrait appears below with the Miranda bench.) The decision was 9-0 (see Figure 2, below) in favor of the principle that the states must assign counsel to indigent criminal defendants facing substantial incarceration. Again, the Fourteenth Amendment was used as a funnel through which the Sixth Amendment was applied to the states (The Oyez project, Gideon v.
Wainwright). To this date, Federal, State and local jurisdictions are required to supply counsel, free of charge, to criminal defendants that cannot afford attorneys. Attorneys that perform this function are often known as Public Defenders, Assigned Counsel and the like.
Supreme Court Justice Opinions and Votes (By Ideology)
Miranda Discussion Ernesto Miranda was a young man with prior criminal activity and a Dishonorable Discharge from the U.S. Army on his resume. He was someone, clearly, that a young woman would not want to bring home to “meet the parents.” In March of 1963, a young woman was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Phoenix, Arizona, and Ernesto became a suspect. He was interrogated by the police for a few hours, and relatively quickly confessed to the crimes. His later attempts to suppress his confession and evidence seized related thereto/resulting therefrom were denied, and he was convicted in Arizona State Court and sentenced to twenty to thirty years in state prison. His appeal to the highest court in Arizona was denied, and he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The rest, as they say, is history. In a 5-4 split decision (see Figure 3, below), the Court concluded that Miranda’s constitutional rights were violated (Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments), in that he should have been warned that he had the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to a free attorney if he had no money to hire one, and that if he did say anything to his interrogators, his statement(s) could and would be used against him in court. These protections/warnings became required procedure for future prosecutions throughout the U.S.A.
GCBF ♦ Vol. 11 ♦ No. 1 ♦ 2016 ♦ ISSN 1941-9589 ONLINE & ISSN 2168-0612 USB Flash Drive 294 Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings ♦ Volume 11 ♦ Number 1 As stated above, Ernesto Miranda was sentenced to twenty to thirty years in prison. Upon the reversal of his conviction, he was retried. Although the confession he initially made to police was not allowed into evidence in the re-trial, an incriminating statement he made to his common law wife was allowed into evidence, which, it seems certain, was a factor that contributed to the jury’s verdict: he was reconvicted and re-sentenced to state prison. It seems Ernesto Miranda did not apply his lesson learned regarding a suspect remaining silent as far as police are concerned to the wisdom of remaining silent, at least at times, when it pertains to responding to inquiries made by a suspecting spouse. Testimony about the statement he made to his common law wife was admitted into evidence over his attorney’s objection, the Court at that time holding that spousal privilege did not apply to common law relationships. He was paroled in 1972.
Yet, he continued to have trouble with the law, and was sent back to Arizona State Prison on a parole violation. After his release, he did not get far, in that he was mortally wounded at age 34 with a knife in a bar fight in 1976, short of ten years after the decision bearing his name was handed down. Ironically, a prime suspect in his fatal stabbing elected to stand on his Miranda rights, and refused to cooperate with the police. No one was ever formally charged with the killing (Time, 2015; The Oyez Project, Miranda v.
Arizona). The Miranda warnings set forth by the Court in its 1966 ruling have weathered the test of time.
As recently as 2000 (Dickerson) the Supreme Court struck down a federal statute aimed at weakening/limiting the application/enforcement of Miranda. To this date, upon an arrest, the police are supposed to warn an accused: (1) You have the right to remain silent; (2) you have the right to an attorney to represent you in each any every aspect of this proceeding; (3) if you do not have funds to hire an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge; and, (4) if you do waive your right to remain silent, and talk to us, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.