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Museum display highlights famous Phoenix case

PHOENIX — Fifty years ago this month, police arrested Ernesto Arturo Miranda for the kidnapping and rape of a Phoenix woman.

Miranda confessed and was convicted based largely on that confession but his conviction was overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police failed to notify Miranda of his constitutional rights which we know today as “Miranda Rights.”

“It’s had a profound effect,” said Mike Black, a Phoenix criminal defense attorney. “It changed, I think for the better, police procedure. If they can’t get a statement from them then they have to use alternative methods of investigation and it’s made better cops out of the cops.”

After placing a person under arrest, a police officer must tell the suspect about his right to remain silent and to an attorney. The suspect is also notified that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Miranda decision, the Phoenix Police Museum is featuring a special display that opens Wednesday, March 13 at 9 a.m. Admission to the museum at the Old Phoenix City Hall, 17 S. 2nd Ave. is free.