The Crime and the Arrest:
On March 13, 1963, in Phoenix, AZ, Officer Carroll Cooley and Detective Wilfred Young were investigating a rape of an 18 year old woman, Lois Ann Jameson; she was attacked while returning home from her late-night job. Her assailant forced her into a car while threatening her with a knife, drove to the Arizona desert, sexually assaulted her, took her money, and dropped her off a few blocks from her home. She later described the attacker and the car to detectives.
Miranda, a Mexican man in his twenties with a slight build, fit Jameson's description of her attacker. He had been in trouble with the law since age 14, as he had a prior arrest record for armed robbery, attempted rape, burglary, and assault. Miranda was currently sharing a house with his girlfriend, and the aged green car in the driveway, which belonged to his girlfriend, matched Jameson's description. The officers escorted him to a police station for questioning.
The Interrogation and Confession:
At the police station, Miranda was lined-up next to three other men, and Jameson told the officers that he most resembled her attacker; however, she was not positive. Then, Cooley and Young questioned him in an interrogation room for two hours. Miranda later claimed that they had tried to bully him, by warning him that they would make all possible charges against him. However, both officers later testified in court that they neither hurt nor threatened him. They knew that he had the Constitutional right to remain silent but, since they were not required by law to inform him of this right, they did not do so. Miranda soon confessed of rape, and admitted to committing eight other unsolved crimes in the area, including a robbery and an attempted rape. Miranda later stated that he had felt pressured by Cooley and Young, and that they had told him the rape charge could be dropped if he confessed to one of the other robberies. Yet again, the officers denied having offered Miranda any deals.
After his verbal confession, Miranda was given a standard police department form to make a written confession of the Jameson rape. The top of the form stated: "I...do hereby swear that I make this statement voluntarily and of my own free will, with no threats, coercion, or promises of immunity, and with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me." It did state that he had "legal rights," although it didn't explicitly explain what these rights were. He wrote a written confession of the rape, and both he and the officers signed it.
The Arizona Trial:
Miranda was then transferred to the Phoenix city jail, and formally charged with kidnapping and rape of Jameson two days later. He could not afford a lawyers, so was assigned to the experienced 73 year old lawyer, Alvin Moore. His trial in Arizona began on June 20, 1963, and during the trial, Miranda's written confession was the only document that the prosecution (the attorneys representing the state of Arizona) submitted into evidence. They also called four people to testify against Miranda: Jameson, who described her abduction and rape, Jameson's sister, and Cooley and Young, who described their investigation and questioning. On Miranda's side, Alvin Moore offered no witnesses, and instead focused on the cross-examination of Jameson and the arresting officers
The jury considered the evidence for 5 hours before declaring Miranda guilty of kidnapping and raping Jameson, and on June 27, he was sentenced to 20-30 years in state prison. Moore then appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, arguing that Miranda should have had legal counsel during police questioning as well as during the trial. His reasoning was that Miranda would not have confessed if a lawyer had been there to advise him of his right to remain silent. However, the state of Arizona upheld his conviction, ruling that the police had not violated Miranda's Constitutional rights in obtaining his confession. They reasoned that Miranda had voluntarily confessed to the crimes, so the prosecutor could justly present the confession to the jury.
- Without a lawyer, Miranda then appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Two prominent Phoenix lawyers, John J. Flynn and John P. Frank, agreed to handle his appeal at no cost, as they felt that his case presented an important constitutional issue that must be addressed by the Court. They likely felt this way because the U.S. Supreme Court had expanded the rights of the accused in well-publicized cases during the preceding two years, including Gideon v. Wainwright and Escobedo vs. Illinois. These lawyers believed that expanding the rights of the accused was very probable during the current time period, and thus, took Miranda's case. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review his case in November 1965.