The following information relies on the recollections and opinions of a retired local jurisdiction law enforcement officer.
When Betty wrote her “Legalese” post on terms from legal dictionaries, I mentioned that “mirandize” was one of my favorites. My dad had started his law enforcement career just a few years prior to the Supreme Court’s Miranda decision on June 13, 1966, so I asked him for his memories of it when I was studying the decision in school. Betty mentioned that his stories would make a good blog post. And, as this is National Police Week, I am following up with her suggestion.
My father is retired from a large local jurisdiction police force. His agency provides continuing professional education, by publishing newsletters, arranging FBI Academy law enforcement training, and coordinating numerous other conferences and seminars. His agency recognized that an educated police force would provide better service to the community. For some time prior to the Miranda decision, his agency’s criminal law courses taught all new recruits that they were required by the agency to inform all persons arrested that they had the right to remain silent and that anything they said could be used against them in a court of law. These were two of the three standard phrases included in the current Miranda rights. The key addition of the Miranda decision was the requirement that suspects be informed of their right to an attorney, which the state will provide if they cannot afford to pay. This last point was an argument of Ernesto Miranda‘s counsel to the Supreme Court.
After Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), every police officer in my dad’s agency was issued wallet-sized cards with Miranda rights printed on them.
As you might expect, the public didn’t always understand the provisions of Miranda. My dad recalls an arrest when a DWI suspect was informed of his rights and invoked them by declining to talk to officers and called his attorney on the police station public pay phone. The suspect then loudly confessed to his attorney in the presence of the surrounding officers that he was intoxicated, and that he had been intoxicated at the moment he was operating his vehicle. My dad’s colleagues never questioned the man. They took notes of his phone call and presented them as evidence in court. The suspect and his counsel attempted to use Miranda, and the judge convicted the man of DWI.
As time passed, the public began to be more aware of their Miranda rights and the recitation of them is regularly depicted in police procedurals both on screen and in print fiction. You can buy those wallet-sized cards online now, too.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during National Police Week, 2015. (Photo provided by author.)
This week is National Police Week. President John F. Kennedy is credited with creating the commemoration as part of a proclamation signed in 1962, which designated May 14th as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which it falls as Police Week. If you recall my recent post, it takes Congressional action to make […]
As the first third of the year draws to a close, I thought it would be nice to take a look at the metrics for a few different resources on Congress.gov and the Law Library’s website. I find it helpful, when thinking about how to update and improve our website, to review what gets the most attention from our […]
After two years of hard work, the OASIS LegalDocumentML (LegalDocML) Technical Committee is nearing the end of its formal standardization process for the Akoma Ntoso legislative data standard. As you may recall, Akoma Ntoso is an international parliamentary and legislative XML standard that enables the exchange of documents and data across legislative organizations. It was […]
This post is coauthored by Barbara Bavis and Robert Brammer, senior legal reference specialists. As reference librarians here at the Law Library of Congress, we get a wide array of questions from our patrons. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive, however, is how to most effectively find relevant legal resources in our […]
The following is a guest post by Connie Johnson, a senior legal research analyst at the Law Library of Congress. She most recently published a blog post on her new bibliography of Islamic law materials. The Law Library of Congress has published a report titled Treatment of Foreign Fighters in Selected Jurisdictions. The focus of […]
On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution my community and the agency I serve. Law Enforcement Oath of Honor International Association of Chiefs of […]
Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there has been a great deal of debate both in the United States and abroad about how countries deal with major public health crises. This included discussions about the difficulty of containing the virus in the countries hardest-hit by the epidemic and what preventative measures other countries […]
The following is a guest post by Shameema Rahman, a senior legal research specialist in our Public Services Division. The Convention on International Civil Aviation (also known as the Chicago Convention) was signed on December 7, 1944, by 52 countries. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was officially established on April 4, 1947, following the […]
The following is a guest post by Brandon Fitzgerald, project manager of a Law Library staffing contract, writer and student of poetry and literature. In honor of National Poetry Month, I want to consider the intersections between law and poetry. Each entails persuasion and precision of language. Word choice and word placement are central to […]