The 5th amendment to the Constitution states:
âNo person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising
in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be
twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.â
Various aspects of this amendment have been challenged in the courts, particularly where self-incrimination is concerned. The 1897 case of Bram v. United
States, examined voluntary confessions and held that, âwherever a question arises whether a confession is incompetent because not voluntary, the issue is
controlled by that portion of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, commanding that no person shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself.â
Several years later in Powers v. United States (1912), the Supreme Court held that âa confession should not be excluded merely because the authorities had
not warned a suspect of his right to remain silent.â This remained the status quo until the landmark 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona, which imposed new rules
for excluding confessions and other admissions made to the police during a custodial interrogation.
In the 2022 case Vega v. Tekoh, the Supreme Court overruled an important feature of Miranda. As a result of this case, individuals will no longer be able to
pursue civil lawsuits against officers if their Miranda rights are not read.
For this assignment, discuss the importance of suspects being informed of their Miranda rights. In other words, why does it matter if people, who are in
police custody, are informed of their rights? What impact do you believe the Vega case will have on the criminal justice system?
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