Supreme Court Trims Right to Silence....

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by Shizamus, May 29, 2003.

  1. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

    Jun 27, 2001

    Supreme Court trims right to silence
    By David Savage in Washington
    May 29 2003

    The United States Supreme Court has narrowed the historic right against self-incrimination, ruling that police and government investigators can force people to talk, as long as those admissions are not used to prosecute them.

    Tuesday's 6-3 opinion undercuts the well-known "Miranda warnings", in which officers tell suspects of their right to remain silent. It appears to allow more aggressive police questioning of witnesses in the hope of obtaining evidence. While witnesses' words cannot be used against them in court, evidence can be.

    The decision could also prove useful in the "war on terrorism". The FBI agents who fanned out around the country after the attacks in New York and Washington mostly wanted information, not convictions.

    Most immediately, however, the decision throws out part of a lawsuit brought on behalf of a gravely wounded farm worker in Oxnard, California, who was questioned in a hospital emergency ward by a police supervisor.

    The officers who shot Oliverio Martinez in the face and back, paralysing and blinding him, can be sued for using excessive force, and possibly for "outrageous conduct" at the hospital, the court said. But the justices ruled that the police supervisor who repeatedly questioned Mr Martinez as he screamed in pain did not violate his Fifth Amendment rights.

    Civil libertarians worried that the decision signals a retreat from the Miranda rulings of the past. Already, the court has agreed to hear three Miranda cases later this year, one testing whether police can deliberately violate the right to remain silent.

    "When the court handed down Miranda [in 1966], it set out clear lines. When you crossed the line, you violated the constitutional right," said Charles Weisselberg, who teaches law at the University of California, Berkeley.

    The Martinez case examined whether the constitution protects a person when he is being questioned by police, or only later at a future trial. In past decades, the more liberal Supreme Court had said that suspects and witnesses had a right to remain silent. The 1966 decision in Miranda v Arizona held that police must tell people of their rights before questioning them.

    Similarly, unwilling witnesses called before investigating committees had the right to "plead the Fifth Amendment" and thereafter refuse to testify.

    But in Tuesday's opinion, the court majority said the Fifth Amendment came into play only when a suspect was tried in court.

    Los Angeles Times


    Real talk radio, if you dare :
  2. Zigzag2

    Zigzag2 Guest

    Well what do you think about that Shizamus?

    I suppose, if those jack-booted thugs think you have information they want... they'll simply "talk" it out of you. If that don't work they'll beat it out of you...yes :confused:

  3. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    So, what does this mean? We don't have the right to remain silent unless we're in a courtroom?

    Put this together with the new proposed measures to legitimize torture, and you've got a bad, bad situation.
  4. Evilahole

    Evilahole New Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    Didn't we just "Liberate" a country that had this practice?
  5. Shizamus

    Shizamus New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Sounds about right.

    We need operation "Liberate Freedom in USA"
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