Fifth Amendment & Miranda
“No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself . . .” U.S. Const. amend. V. In 1966, with the case
Miranda v. Arizona , 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the Supreme Court held that prior to any custodial interrogation, a subject must be warned that he has a right: (1) to remain silent, (2) to be informed that any statement made may be used as evidence against him, and (3) to the presence of an attorney. The goal of Miranda was to put in place a procedural safeguard that would counter the inherently coercive environment of a police-dominated, incommunicado interrogation. In 1967, the Court of Military Appeals applied Miranda to military interrogations in United States v. Tempia , 37 C.M.R. 249 (C.M.A. 1967). In
Dickerson v. United States , 530 U.S. 428 (2000), the Supreme Court reaffirmed that Miranda is a constitutional decision that the Congress is not permitted to “overrule.” The Supreme Court also implicitly reaffirmed all of the exceptions to Miranda . The trigger for Miranda warnings is “custodial interrogation.” The test for custody is an objective examination, from the perspective of the subject, into whether there was a formal arrest or restraint or other deprivation of freedom of action in any significant way. The test for an interrogation is also an objective test, but from the perspective of the person asking the questions, i.e., the police officer. The test is whether the comments made are those reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. For both, the subjective views harbored by either the interrogating officer or the person being questioned are irrelevant.