The famous Miranda ruling of 1966 is part of the American lexicon. we hear the shows. The phrase, ‘you have the right to remain silent” dozens of times daily when we watch American television. but almost as soon as suspects are ready their rights, a lot of them confess their guilt in the face of what they are told is overwhelming evidence.
What about real life, Do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit? Unfortunately the answer is yes, according to a story out of North Carolina about a couple of men who have served 30 years in prison for a rape and murder that someone else committed, The men have been set free and the problem is, how could this happen so long after Miranda? I believe the answer is power, and prejudice. From the newspaper stories I have seen about exonerations, the police often coerce vulnerable people into confessing to crimes that they had not committed. In this case, men young men had below average intelligence, were poor and lived in North Carolina. I have no doubt that a series of white officials combined to convict and keep these men in prison all those long years of their youth.
In their view, so long as it was known, black men were mixed up in the crime, it probably didn’t matter to them whether they had found the guilty party. As it happened, the actual murderer and rapist lived very near the scene of the crime. With a little actual police work, he could have been tried and found guilty. It is unfortunate that he committed others crimes and is currently serving a prison sentence for them.
I believe we need to gain more power through things such as voting, serving on juries,and joining the legal system on all levels from the police to the judiciary in order to achieve even the slightest bit of justice for ourselves and our friends. These days, we often lack the power but it’s not a permanent condition. Let’s begin the process now to help prevent others from serving long years in prison.