The Supreme Court: Some Recent Big Decisions Are Not Retroactive

The court had posed the problem for itself in two earlier decisions, and last week, just before adjourning for the summer, it finally got itself off the hook. Neither the vague right to remain silent that had been recognized by Escobedo v. Illinois nor the stricter guidelines for police and prosecutors that had been laid down in Miranda v. Arizona, announced Chief Justice Earl Warren, would be applied retroactively.

Ever since Escobedo, many a confessed and convicted criminal had seen the possibility of retroactivity as a hope of getting his case back into court. And now, with Miranda to remind...

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