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Miranda v. Arizona

This activity is based on the landmark Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. Participants review a summary of the case, and discuss it. With Miranda as a foundation, they compare similar cases decided by federal Courts of Appeals to identify when someone is actually in police custody and is entitled to a Miranda warning.

How to Use These Resources

These resources can be adapted for courtrooms, classrooms, and independent study.

In Advance: 30-Minute Preparation with No Additional Reading or Research

Preparation for Volunteer Attorneys

  • Preparation starts with downloading the activity package.
  • The ready-to-go resources can be reviewed in 30 minutes.

Preparation for Teachers and Students

  • No preparation is needed for courtroom programs.
  • Everything is provided in the courtroom, including time for volunteer attorneys to prepare participants.

Activity Duration

One, 50-minute class period or a 60-to-90-minute courtroom program. Timing depends on the length of discussion segments. Program components can be adjusted or eliminated to fit the time allotted

Student Take Away

Miranda rights come into play when someone is in police custody.  But how do students know if they are in custody? The culminating activity is completing and discussing the worksheet comparing four Circuit Court cases to identify common factors that courts use to make that determination.

In the Courtroom or the Classroom

  1. Use or modify the agenda.
  2. Analyze the facts and case summary.
  3. Use critical thinking skills and share reflections using the discussion starter.
  4. Read related Circuit Court cases.
  5. Make observations about the Circuit Court cases using the discussion starter.
  6. Compare the cases and check for understanding using the worksheet.

Teachers:  Refer to the answer key.

DISCLAIMER: These resources are created by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for educational purposes only. They may not reflect the current state of the law, and are not intended to provide legal advice, guidance on litigation, or commentary on any pending case or legislation.