The Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society sponsored the Law Day Ceremonies at the Supreme Court On May 2nd by hosting participating students from Bloomfield High School –who presented their thoughts on a comparison of rights afforded to criminal defendants before and after the Miranda v. Arizona decision. Students from Capital Preparatory Magnet School and Our Lady of Mercy from Madison, the 2016 Championship Mock Trial Team, also were in attendance. (Continued below slideshow)
Former Connecticut Bar Association President Kimberley A. Knox of Horton, Shields &
Knox, researched a CT Supreme Court Case from 1917—State v. Castelli—in
which Associate Justice George W. Wheeler (who later became Chief Justice of
the court) wrote in his dissent that the two defendants in the case should
have been explicitly advised prior to confessing to their crimes, that what
they said to law enforcement could be used against them in court. His
dissent was quite remarkable for the time and it came 49 years before the
U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona.
Connecticut Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers and Associate Justices, Hon. Peter T. Zarella and Hon. Richard A. Robinson participated in the mock Supreme Court hearing, an argument re-enactment in the case of State v. Castelli, 92 CONN. 58 (1917).
Attorney Gregory T. D’Auria, Connecticut’s Solicitor General and Attorney Brendon P. Levesque of Horton, Shields & Knox, argued for the State and the Defendant, respectively.
In her closing remarks, Chief Justice Rogers said, in part, "The mock argument in State v. Castelli recognized Justice Wheeler’s contributions to the rights of criminal defendants almost 50 years before Miranda…We are fortunate that our future includes citizens as you [students] who are committed to the rule of law and our courts as bedrocks of democracy."
Bloomfield High School student Chaddane Williams said of the day, "It was a very good day, particularly for those who are interested in being lawyers. But it also gave us all more insight into what goes on behind the scenes and exactly what lawyers do."