In a couple of weeks, the Phoenix Police Department will recognize the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous arrests in the department's history -- that of Ernesto Miranda.
You probably recognize Miranda's name by the "warning" named after him that lets an arrestee know he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can and will be used against him in a court of law, and the rest of the stuff that comes at the end of a good COPS segment.
Phoenix PD says there's going to be a special display of original memorabilia from the arrest of Miranda on display at the Phoenix Police Museum, as well as a tour of his original jail cell and interview area.
The history of Miranda's is a strange one, as you can see in the Center for Civic Education's account.
Miranda was arrested on March 13, 1963, on suspicion of rape, kidnapping, and robbery.
After two hours of interrogation by Phoenix PD -- without being informed of his rights to remain silent, or have an attorney present -- Miranda confessed and signed a written version of his confession.
Miranda eventually was convicted and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison, and his court-appointed lawyer -- who continued to insist that police unconstitutionally obtained the confession -- appealed the case all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court. The state court upheld the conviction, but the ACLU helped get the case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1966, the Supreme Court ruled for Miranda, the "Miranda warning" was born, and Miranda's conviction on the rape charge was tossed.
However, Miranda didn't really get lucky ever again.
He was re-tried in the rape case and convicted again.
Almost nine years after the Supreme Court decision, Miranda was released from prison. About nine months after that, he was killed.
According to the local PBS station's documentary on Miranda, he was playing poker in Phoenix in January 1976, when he got in an argument with other players.
"[T]wo adversaries slit his throat with a lettuce knife and left him on the floor of the bar," according to that account.
In the end, the cops read some of your constitutional rights because of him. The anniversary display at the Phoenix Police Museum is on the exact 50th anniversary, on March 13.
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