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Street Law, Inc. and The Supreme Court Historical Society present
Street Law /
Landmark Cases /
Miranda v. Arizona
". . . the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination." —Chief Justice Earl Warren, speaking for the majority
Ernesto Miranda was arrested after a crime victim identified him, but police officers questioning him did not inform him of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, or of his Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of an attorney. While he confessed to the crime, his attorney later argued that his confession should have been excluded from trial. The Supreme Court agreed, deciding that the police had not taken proper steps to inform Miranda of his rights.
These materials were developed for students of various skill levels, and teachers should choose the level that works best for their students. Answers to the background questions, vocabulary, and activities can be found in the FOR TEACHERS ONLY tab under each case.
After the Case
* Answers to the background questions, vocabulary, and activities can be found in the FOR TEACHERS ONLY tab under each case.
Begin with a video clip from a television series that depicts the police reciting the Miranda warnings. Discuss these warnings with students, soliciting their ideas about what rights the accused are entitled to based on what they have seen on television.
Read the Background (•) as a class. Have students identify the arguments for each side and predict the outcome.
For homework, have students read the Key Excerpts from the Majority Opinion and answer the accompanying questions.
Complete all activities for the first day.
On the second day, complete Miranda Warnings and the Bill of Rights to help refresh students' memories of how the Bill of Rights relates to the Miranda warnings.
Complete Controversy over the Court's Decision to help students understand why the Miranda decision is still controversial.
Complete all activities suggested for the first and second days.
Complete the jigsaw activity Should Miranda Warnings Be Required Police Procedure?
Assess students' understanding of the principles of Miranda by completing Beyond Miranda.
For homework, have students read the excerpt from David Simon's book Homicide provided in A Real World Case Study: Homicide by David Simon, and answer the questions or write the short essay described in the assignment.
Complete all the activities for the first, second, and third days.
On the fourth day, have students complete Miranda Rights for Juveniles: Yarborough v. Alvarado.
Alternatively, on the third and fourth day, conduct a mini-moot court in triads according to the instructions in Miranda v. Arizona: A Primer to crystallize the key concepts of the doctrine
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