Jun 2, 2010

Less Miranda

SCOTUS takes away more of your 5th Amendment rights, waters down Miranda some more.

The Supreme Court ruled that suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations. That's right...you must speak your right to silence.

Let me ask, does that mean if you speak, you're giving up your right to silence?

Seems the SCOTUS just gave the police more power and a free pass to badger a suspect?

What the SCOTUS said is, that you have every right to keep remaining silent as long as you want, but the police can keep questioning you until you tell them that you are choosing to remain silent according to your Miranda rights. The case that they were listening to involved a guy who stayed silent for 3 hours and then finally answered a question in a way that incriminated him, and his claim was that they should have interpreted his original silence as invoking his rights. You know, that whole, "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" part. Frankly, the case should have been based on this point of contention, not whether or not he specifically told them he was going to be silent. Of course it wasn't, and will have unintended over reaching consequences.

All I know, is I plan on carrying my Miranda rights on my attorney's business card moving forward. Then I can either mime that I'm evoking my rights, or I can just hand them the card.

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