written confession, if that confession or testimony will tend to incriminate him.
To be valid testimony, a subject must cooperate, both mentally and physically, in
supplying the information.
(2) The information must be freely and voluntarily given by the subject.
The subject must have been warned of his rights, waived those rights, and consented
to make a statement. A statement or other self-incriminatory evidence will not be
admissible into evidence unless the voluntariness is established only if a good
warning has been given and a proper waiver received.
c. On 13 June 1966, the U.S.
Supreme Court decided Miranda v. Arizona, a
decision which has had tremendous impact on the conduct of police interviews and
interrogations, and on the voluntariness of the subject's statement or confession
written by Chief Justice Warren, is reproduced here to aid the SA in ensuring that
any statement taken by him will be valid and admissible in any court-martial.
"Presuming a waiver from a silent record is impermissible.
must show, or there must be an allegation and evidence which show that an accused
was offered counsel but intelligently and understandingly rejected the offer.
Anything less is not a waiver."
There is, moreover, no room for the contention that the privilege is
waived if the individual answers some questions or gives some information on his
own prior to invoking his right to remain silent when interrogated.
Whatever the testimony of the authorities as to waiver of rights by an
accused, the fact of lengthy interrogation or incommunicado incarceration before a
statement is made is strong evidence that the accused did not validly waive his
In these circumstances, the fact that the individual eventually made a
statement is consistent with the conclusion that the compelling influence of the
interrogation finally forced him to do so. It is inconsistent with any notion of a
voluntary relinquishment of the privilege. Moreover, any evidence that the accused
was threatened, tricked, or cajoled into a waiver will, of course, show the
defendant did not voluntary waive his privilege. The requirement of warnings and
waiver of rights is fundamental with respect to the Fifth Amendment privilege and
not simply a preliminary ritual to existing methods of interrogation.
The warning required and the waiver necessary are, in the absence of a
fully effective equivalent, prerequisite to the admissibility of any statement made
by a defendant.
No distinction can be drawn between statements which are the
direct confessions and statements which amount to "admission" to part or all of an
The privilege against self-incrimination protects the individual from
being compelled to incriminate himself in any manner; it does not distinguish
degrees of incrimination.
In dealing with statements obtained through interrogation, we do
not purport to find all confessions inadmissible.
Confessions remain a
Any statement given freely and voluntarily