Nov 28 2002, 12:01 AM
"You do not have the right to remain silent..."
The Supreme Court is about to hear a case in which the police of Oxnard, California are claiming that Miranda rights do not include "a constitutional right to be free of coercive interrogation". This relates to a horrific case in which the police shot one Oliverio Martinez in the head, the spine, and three times in the legs. A patrol supervisor interrogated the critically wounded man for forty-five minutes until he lost consciousness - in an attempt to clear the officers who shot him with little provocation.
Martinez, now paralyzed and blind, sued the police for illegal arrest, the use of excessive force, and coercive interrogation in police custody. The Bush administration is siding with the police. Solicitor Gen. Theodore Olson and Michael Chertoff of the Justice Department are arguing that police can hold people in custody and force them to talk,
so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them.
Are they right? Or does Martinez have a case? Some details on the case can be found here
Nov 28 2002, 08:02 AM
I don't have the time to get into this deeply right now, but it is a subject that needs to be discussed. I'll say up front that somehow Miranda never quite sat right with me. I'd love to talk about that more.
Nov 29 2002, 09:08 PM
I want to look into the issue and i will get back to this topic.
Dec 7 2002, 01:43 PM
well i side with the peson not the police. That is way way to excessive force, I think that the person will win. But i dont believe that they are stripping the right... maby this officer made a "mistake" because every officer has to say the miranda rights!This office should get suspended
Dec 18 2002, 12:35 AM
The article wasn't really clear. Did they read Martinez his rights? Was it before or after the shooting?
I think the police did use excessive force, but more than likely not without good cause. We'll never know what REALLY happened out there. Maybe he DID go for the gun, maybe not, we'll never know.
This should be a seperate issue from Miranda. It doesn't have anything to do with Miranda at all. Martinez is upset because he was questioned by police. Miranda says you have the right to remain silent,. No where does it say you have the right not to be interogated.
If Martinez does win, hopefully it won't affect Miranda at all.
At MOST, the officers are guilty of poor judgement and excessive force (maybe)
Dec 18 2002, 12:50 AM
Martinez was not read his rights, and he didnt have a gun. He had a knife on his person, but from my understanding he wasnt near to the police, and I dont think he was brandishing it. He was just riding his bike at the wrong place and time, at least thats what I gathered from hearing the story.
Dec 22 2002, 03:11 PM
I'm confused about the case, but I think that you're saying that he was forced into incriminating himself, which isn't only against the right to remain silent, but also the Amendment (5 or 6) that says you cannot testify against yourself.
FINALLY SOMETHING I'LL AGREE WITH YOU ON WERTZ!!
This is absolutely unconstitutional, immoral, and sickening. No matter what crime this man was committing, he was none the less, an American Citizen whose rights are protected under the Constitution.
This abuse of power is very typical of the Bush administration in my opinion. Bush thinks he's god!! Shame on them, SHAME SHAME SHAME!! Without personal rights, we aren't free!
They may come back with the claim that this man posed a threat to officers and therefore they didn't have time to read his rights, blah blah blah...Do you know who Miranda was? -A lowlife, a rapist and a murderer. He was entitled to be read his rights just like anybody else. Take this case to the Supreme Court!!
Dec 23 2002, 03:07 PM
QUOTE(juber3 @ Dec 7 2002, 08:43 AM)
maby this officer made a "mistake" because every officer has to say the miranda rights!This office should get suspended
A side note on the way "justice" works in America, Jube: Every officer should
read a suspect their Miranda rights, true. But, here in Florida at least, that does not appear to be the practice. In the past eighteen months, I witnessed two people getting arrested. Neither was read their Miranda rights. Both raised this with their lawyers (one a public defender, the other from a relatively upmarket law firm). Both
told their clients to forget about it. Unless it's a serious felony charge and there are several witnesses to the arrest, the police seldom read anyone their rights, they said. If anyone makes an issue of it, it's the suspect's word against that of the police.
Dec 23 2002, 03:31 PM
I'd like to follow up Wertz's post with my minuscule amount of knowledge.
When I worked as a paralegal for a criminal firm in Illinois, this Miranda issue came up frequently. In Illinois, the police were not required to "Mirandize" a defendant if they were caught in the act, meaning the cop actually SAW the illegal activity take place. Just food for thought.
Maybe I'll be called elitist for this, but reading of the Miranda rights always seemed a little dumb to me, for lack of a better word. It seems SO obvious that I do not have to speak to the police and that I have a right to an attorney. Heck, I've
read the Constitution. The reading of the Miranda rights seems like an attempt to save people from their own stupidity.
Dec 23 2002, 05:22 PM
A few questions, Jaime.
First, let me tell you about this case you may or may not be familiar with.
Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963)
Gideon was a man who broke into a pinball machine, and his crime was witnessed and he was hauled off to jail. He was convicted without counsel since the crime was witnessed, and not read his rights. He read the Bill of Rights while in jail, and wrote a letter in pencil to the Supreme Court, arguing that he never recieved counsel. He was then released, and this case was what encorporated the right to counsel in the 6th Amendment to all American citizens. I know it isn't a "Miranda" case persay, but nonetheless, your rights still pertain to you and should be read to you if you are caught in the act.
And the felony thing, are misdemeanors really different? My brother got a DUI (idiot) and was never read his rights, and we assumed that it was because it was a misdemeanor.
I agree with you in the last part. If you're an American, particularly an American that is going to go out and break laws, you should already know your rights because they have been your rights since you became an American. But since the Miranda case, the Supreme Court ruled that rights must be read because in many cases we are a nation full of ignorance. Too bad they feel they must remind us all of the rights we were more than likely born with.
This is a simplified version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here