Monday, December 5, 2011
MBE Fast Fact: Miranda
A few important points to remember about Miranda. First, although the fruits derived from an illegal search will be subject to the exclusionary rule (and therefore, assuming exceptions do not apply, any evidence derived from an illegal search is kept out of court), if non-testimonial evidence is derived from a confession in which a suspect was not given his Miranda rights, that evidence will not be excluded by the exclusionary rule. Further, the Miranda requirements do not apply to a witness testifying before a grand jury. Note, also, that statements obtained in violation of Miranda may be used to impeach a defendant's trial testimony. The exclusionary rule only applies to keep those statements out if used as evidence of guilt. Finally, there is a public safety exception to the Miranda requirement. The Supreme Court has allowed interrogation without Miranda warnings where it was reasonably prompted by a concern for public safety (for example interrogating a suspect on the whereabouts of a weapon that might cause injury to innocent people).