Foreword By Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona
Table of Contents
  Miranda's Confession
  Right to Counsel
  Privilege Against Self-Incrimination
  Miranda and the Arizona Supreme Court
  Birth of the Miranda Warnings
  John Frank as Architect of the Miranda Doctrine
  John Flynn's Oral  Argument at the Supreme Court
  Gary Nelson's Oral Argument for Arizona
  Thurgood Marshall's Oral  Argument at the Supreme Court
  The Opinion
  The Miranda Warnings
  The Ongoing Debate
  The Dickerson Case
  Miranda's Global Reach

Miranda and the al Qaeda Terror

  Padilla and Hamdi
  False Confessions and the Tuscson Four
  Political Ideology and the Supreme Court
  Dickerson's Legacy
  Gideon's Legacy
  The Evolution of Miranda


from Chapter 2

Miranda and the Arizona Supreme Court

Except from pages 40-42

Moore also appealed Miranda’s conviction on the rape and robbery of Patricia Doe. The Arizona Supreme Court took twenty-one pages to reject all of the claims of error. The only constitutional issue preserved by Moore for appeal was the core issue in the case: Miranda’s confession. Justice Ernest McFarland wrote the opinion summarily rejecting Miranda’s claim that his confession was improperly received in evidence. Detectives Young and Cooley had testified that “they had informed him of his legal rights and that any statement he made might be used against him,” McFarland argued.

Justice McFarland noted that Moore’s only objection to the admission of the written confession had been, “We are objecting because the Supreme Court of the United States says the man is entitled to an attorney at the time of his arrest.” There was no objection on the proper ground, which was that Miranda’s statement was not made voluntarily, and Moore had not requested that the trial judge determine the voluntariness of the statement. Since the voluntariness and the truth of the confession were not in question, the Arizona Supreme Court saw the sole question before it as “Whether there was a violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution by the admission of the voluntary statement made without an attorney.”

In passing on constitutional provisions, the Arizona Supreme Court is bound to follow the interpretations of the United States Supreme Court. Accordingly, it duly examined the recent decisions in Massiah v. United States and Escobedo v. Illinois. The court noted that Massiah, which involved a wiretap between two codefendants, was not on point. It had more trouble dismissing Escobedo but ultimately found it inapplicable as well, because, unlike Danny Escobedo, Ernesto Miranda had been advised of his rights. “He had not requested counsel,” the court noted, “and had not been denied assistance of counsel. We further call attention to the fact that, as pointed out in the companion case here on appeal, State v. Miranda, No. 1397 [the robbery case] defendant Miranda had a record, which indicated he was not without courtroom experience.”

In working its way to its holding in Miranda’s appeal, the Arizona Supreme Court also queried rhetorically, “What is the purpose of the right to counsel? What is the purpose of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments?” Observing that California had just extended Escobedo to cases in which the defendant had not asked for a lawyer, the court asserted that state courts are not bound to follow one another, and the Arizona court “did not choose to follow” California’s lead.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s holding was a masterpiece of directness: “We hold that a confession may be admissible when made without an attorney if it is voluntary and does not violate the constitutional rights of defendant.” This direct holding was to prove helpful to Miranda at the next level of appeal.


Miranda: The Story of America's Right to Remain Silent
Copyright © 2004, Gary L. Stuart. All rights reserved.
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page last revised: 10/25/04