No relation to Carmen Miranda in case you were asking. Ernesto is an otherwise unknown guy from Phoenix, Arizona who was made famous by a Supreme Court decision that requires police to advise suspects accused of a crime of their rights, the Miranda warnings. Anyone who has watched a police show on TV, which means just about all of us has seen the warnings read, ‘you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney’, etc. Ernesto Miranda is an example of how history is made largely by ordinary people, not the rich and famous. Ernesto was arrested and questioned for a long time until he confessed to a crime that he then said he did not commit. He was not told that he had the right to an attorney before he was questioned while he was under arrest.
As a result of his case the now famous warnings have to be read when someone is under arrest, and law enforcement wants to question them. Contrary to popular belief, and most TV shows, the police do not have to read you the rights when they arrest you, they only have to read them if they want to question you after they arrest you. They also do not have to read them to you if you are not under arrest, meaning if an officer walks up to you and asks if you have drugs in your possession, they do not have to read you your rights as you are not under arrest.
Every time you hear the Miranda warning read on TV thank Ernesto Miranda. If it were not for him, you would never have heard of the Miranda warning and if you are ever read the warning by a real police officer you had better take the advice about ‘the right to remain silent’ seriously.