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Mini Law School for the Public: Civil Liberties and Miranda Rights

The more you know about the laws that affect you, the easier it is to make good decisions about your life, your family and your finances. Each year, The Missouri Bar collaborates with law schools and legal professionals from across the state to deliver Mini Law School for the Public courses. During these sessions, attendees can hear in-depth discussions about various law-related topics. This video is an opportunity to view programming from the 2016 fall lecture series.

In 1966, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona, forever altering the way police arrests and confessions are handled. Today, most people are aware of their Miranda rights, thanks, in some part, to hearing them on police shows and in movies. Still, different opinions surrounding the application and interpretation of the ruling continue to exist.

In this video, recorded during Mini Law School for the Public in St. Louis, Hon. Robert Dierker, St. Louis City Circuit Judge, discusses Ernesto Miranda, the case’s namesake, and how the matter made its way to the Supreme Court.

“This was a rule that was devised by five members of the Supreme Court to do what they thought was the best way to protect criminal defendants and arrestees  from being worn down, being basically induced to confess without any knowledge of their rights or any opportunity to consult with counsel,” Dierker said.

Dierker also addresses how Miranda is applied today.

“Since Miranda, we have developed all kinds of other rules, not only for deciding whether a statement can be admitted into evidence, but also for deciding how you’re supposed to raise the objection and for deciding when Miranda doesn’t apply anyway. And so the regime that we function under now, post Miranda, is fairly simple to state, but as you will see, it can get a little involved in practice.”

Other points in the lecture include:

  • Debates and criticisms that followed the 1966 decision
  • The complications that can arise when addressing technicalities under Miranda, such as the definition of “in custody”
  • How police officers and lawyers might view Miranda rights differently
  • And much more

Watch the lecture here:

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