Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goodbye Right to Remain Silent

And today's episode of "Which USA Right is Dying Now?" is...

The right against self-incrimination! (5th Amendment to the US Constitution)

 In this case, Salinas v. Texas, Salinas remained silent when questioned and the judge used that as evidence of his guilt: "He had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can’t bring up a defendant’s refusal to answer the state’s questions. This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was “free to leave” and did not assert his right to remain silent." 

Why? Because Salinas didn't use the correct legal term when deciding to remain silent: "He was silent. But somehow, without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively “invoked” his right to not answer questions." 

 And that's not even the worst part..." Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia joined the judgment, but for a different reason; they think Salinas had no rights at all to invoke before his arrest (they also object to Miranda itself)."

I thought the courts were supposed to enforce the US Constitution...not destroy it?

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