On March 13, 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested on charges of kidnapping and rape. After 2 hours of interrogation, officers got a written confession. This confession was used as evidence at his trial even though Miranda had never been told that he did not have to talk to police or that he had the right to a lawyer. The jury found Miranda guilty.
AT THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
The Supreme Court overturned Miranda’s conviction, ruling that his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination had been violated. The Court ruled that detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning, must be told of their constitutional right to remain silent and to have an attorney. This is now called the Miranda Warning.
MIRANDA’S LIFE & DEATH
After the Supreme Court ruling, Miranda was retried by the State of Arizona. While his confession was not admitted at the second trial, he was again found guilty and sentenced to 20-30 years in prison.
In 1972,Miranda was released on parole after serving 11 years. After his release, he sold autographed Miranda Warning cards for $1.50.
On January 31, 1976, when Miranda was 35 years old, he was stabbed to death in an argument during a card game at La Amapola Bar in Phoenix.
A suspect in Miranda’s murder was arrested, but he chose to exercise his right to remain silent after being read his Miranda rights. The suspect was released, and is thought to have fled to Mexico. No one was ever charged with the murder.
1. You have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
3. You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned.
4. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning if you wish.
5. You can decide at any time to exercise these rights and not answer any questions or make any statements.
Do you understand each of these rights I have explained to you? Having these right sin mind, do you wish to talk now?
James Kidd was a gold prospector who came to Arizona in 1920. In 1949 he disappeared somewhere in the Superstition Mountains. Several years later, it was discovered that he had left a will, creating a trust, in a safety deposit box at the First National Bank of Arizona. The value of trust was worth $175,000 in 1964.
THE FAMOUS WILL
The only instruction left by Kidd was for the money to go to “research or some scientific proof of a soul of the human body which leaves at death.” He believed that modern photography would allow for scientists to capture the moment that the human spirit rises from a deceased person’s body.
When knowledge of the will became public, 134 different people and organizations fought for rights to the money, in what the New York Times called the “Ghost Trial of the Century.” Some individuals claimed that they were entitled to the money because they had seen a soul leave the body at death. For example, Emma Clausser stated that she participated in an experiment in Germany in 1937, where she momentarily died and witnessed her own soul leave her body.
A 23-YEAR CASE RESOLVED
In 1971, the Arizona Supreme Court finally ruled that the money would go to the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. A higher court overturned this decision and instead awarded the money to the American Society for Psychical Research.