If you’ve ever heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent,” then you already know what the Miranda rights are. But you may not have known that Ernesto Miranda was the actual person who inspired the ubiquitous law. Established during the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona criminal case, the crucial warnings inform potential criminals of their constitutional rights. Read on to find out how the Miranda rights were created.

Breaking the law

The formation of the Miranda rights began on March 2, 1963. A young Arizona woman had just reported her kidnapping and sexual assault to the cops. When police administered a polygraph test, it didn’t give them any solid results. However, they were able to track the suspect’s license plate, which led them to voyeur Ernesto Miranda. Even though the female victim couldn’t spot Miranda in a lineup, he was still interrogated by cops. Unaware of his rights, he quickly implicated himself with a confession he later took back.

Protection of the people

On June 13, 1966, the Miranda v. Arizona court case came to a close with the Supreme Court’s decision. This was the moment when the Miranda rights were born: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you.” The popular warning is commonly repeated on courtroom dramas everywhere.

Thin line

Whatever happened to Miranda anyway? When the American Civil Liberties Union filed an appeal on his behalf, the court took back their ruling, only to declare him guilty again in 1966. After serving six years in prison, he was fatally stabbed during a poker game gone wrong in 1976. Yet, his name lives on every time a would-be convict is read their rights.