Are the suspect’s age, emotional and psychological characteristics sufficient factors to be considered for prosecution in the Miranda context?
- Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
Every person convicted has a Miranda right to be informed of their rights and obligations upon arrest, as well as to an attorney. The thirteen-year-old boy who testified against himself during the police interrogation at school was not previously informed of his Miranda rights, which he used in his appellate claims against the prosecution. The Supreme Court investigated Miranda’s compliance conditions, namely whether the interrogation of the schoolboy constituted incarceration.
Yes, age and psycho-emotional characteristics are integral to the Miranda rule, hence the Supreme Court remanded the case to the state court for reconsideration. Specifically, the justices were not comfortable with the doubt that J. D. B. could have walked away quietly when questioned because he was a minor child with no knowledge of legal law.
This court case is a good example of how police officers can run amok on children. School children experience real stress when the police come to them, but this case identified the importance of following clear legal guidelines and informing children of their rights.