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Miranda v. Arizona: The Rights to Justice (March 13, 1963 – June 13, 1966)

This guide discusses the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona, featuring a chronology of key events and original documents from Supreme Court Justices.

Introduction

Earl Warren, author. Image of a page from Notes concerning the Miranda Decision, Miranda v. Arizona. 1966. Earl Warren Papers. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

This online publication, which originally commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark decision Miranda v. Arizona, compiles a collection of materials which includes exchanges among key stakeholders from the time of the trial, a few of whom are now historical figures of great renown. The decision was transformative and significantly impacted law enforcement practices, namely interrogation, throughout the United States.

The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 majority, held that statements made by a defendant at the point of interrogation were only admissible if the prosecution could demonstrate that s/he was made aware of a bundle of rights—the right to legal counsel, the right against self-incrimination, and the understanding of these rights, among others.

This online publication also includes a global perspective: on the occasion of the commemoration of this landmark decision, the Law Library of Congress Global Legal Research Directorate prepared a report examining Miranda-like warnings that are in place in jurisdictions throughout the world. Letters, memos, and even rare postcards capture the archival temperament of the era, as well as interviews and educational materials that reflect upon the case and its impact then and now.

Acknowledgments

Miranda v. Arizona: The Rights to Justice was produced in 2016 under the leadership of Roberta I. Shaffer, former Law Librarian of Congress. This online publication was made possible by the collaborative efforts of various divisions throughout the Library of Congress. Below is a listing of persons who participated in this project, with the positions they held at the time of the original publication of this guide.

Special thanks are due to the following individual for his central role in producing this publication:

Ryan Reft, Historian, Modern U.S. History, Manuscript Division, Library Services

Publication Team

Jill R. James, Chief, Publication Director, Digital Resources Division
Francisco Macías, Senior Legal Information Analyst, Lead Coordinator and Publication Designer
Jacinda Gill, Information Technology Specialist, Web Developer

Library of Congress Staff

Robert Brammer, Senior Legal Reference Librarian, Law Library of Congress
Kurt Carroll, Acting Director of Legal Collection, Law Library of Congress
Jennifer González, Legal Information Specialist, Law Library of Congress
Janice Hyde, Interim Director, John W. Kluge Center, National and International Outreach
Jill R. James, Chief, Digital Resources Division, Law Library of Congress
Lee Ann Potter, Director of Educational Outreach, National and International Outreach
Peter Roudik, Director of Legal Research, Law Library of Congress
Janice Ruth, Assistant Chief, Manuscript Division, Library Services
Roberta I. Shaffer, Law Librarian of Congress
Stephen Wesson, Educational Resources Specialist, National and International Outreach