Skip to comments.Supreme Court to consider if silence can be evidence of guilt
Posted on 01/20/2013 6:08:09 AM PST by Lazamataz
Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider whether a suspect's refusal to answer police questions prior to being arrested and read his rights can be introduced as evidence of guilt at his subsequent murder trial. Without comment, the court agreed to hear the appeal of Genovevo Salinas, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the December 1992 deaths of two brothers in Houston.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
The British also accept the totality of the evidence.
In American courts, the jury could see a video of a man committing murder but if the defense proves he didnt receive his Miranda rights, the judge will dismiss the case.
Only if statements by the accused are part of the evidence in the trial. Failure to Mirandize results in suppression of evidence. If the ONLY evidence is a confession, then the case disappears along with the evidence. But, you postulated an independent video, and that evidence isn't suppressed on account of the accused giving a confession before being told he has the right to remain silent.
I know you are being facetious, but there is a strong element of truth in your joke. "Satan" means (roughly) "One who accuses" and in ancient Hebrew theology Satan was like a prosecuting attorney. If you look at the story of Job (without the interpretations and connotations that come from a Christian world-view) you can see that the Hebrews saw Satan as the angel tasked with bringing man's faults before God. Only later did that name become associated with the fallen angel/ultimate source of worldly evil in Judaic tradition.
So yes, Satan was (loosely) a lawyer and prosecutor by trade...
The Puritans, who were at the time fleeing to the New World, began a practice of refusing to cooperate with interrogations.
So, Democrats, by overthrowing the Fifth Amendment and the right of no self-incrimination, would essentially be condoning a return to torture and forced confessions -- the very thing they used to beat Bush over the head with for eight years.
Hypocrisy, thy name is "Democrat."
I am glad you did bring it up as an example of over extentions of the law as it allowed me to vent on this subject. Over the past 30 or so years, many of our rights have been diminished, slowly at first, but once the trend began to limit or remove rights, the speed at which they are being eroded has accelerated. Whoa to those who think they are safer as they remove their legal protections. Like the proverbial frog in the heating water in a pot, we will be boiled in our lust for ultimate security or enforcement of laws sans legal protections.
Same as for the President.
The problem the British version forestalls is concocting an alibi in connivance with friends and relatives. If the cops ask you where you were last night, and in fact you were burglaring Mrs. Sweeney’s home, and you say, “playing pinochle with my cousin”, the cops can interrogate your cousin before the two of you confer to concoct an alibi. If you clam up when initially interviewed, and later rely on the pinochle alibi, a jury is entitled, in the British system, to doubt the veracity of the alibi.
Law enforcement officials have broad immunity from liability for unsuccessful prosecution for obvious reasons. The immunity does not apply to malicious prosecutions, where they know the defendant to be innocent. As a practical matter, protestations of innocence by the accused have very little probative value.
Well, look: we're not all waiting in line at the only (government-run) department store to buy shoes. Yet.
I suppose Progressives can't be expected to achieve all their goals at once.
But perhaps after a few more years of Obamacare, increasingly draconian environmental regulations, higher business taxes, subservience to UN treaties, and forced unionization, we can all look forward to the grand re-opening of "GUM" in Obama Square (formerly known as Times Square) after the ball drops in 2017.
Actually, the Puritans continued the practice of compelling "cooperation" in New England.
See the case of Giles Corey, who was pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials while heroically refusing to plead guilty or innocent.
As with so many things, the Puritans weren't opposed to such practices, they just wanted to be the ones in charge of using them. For instance, they were most definitely not in favor of "freedom of religion" for the individual. They were in favor of the freedom of the state to impose the "right" religion on all individuals.
I think Kelo already accomplished that.
As Piers Morgan would ask (incessantly), “Why do you NEED to remain silent? No one who is innocent should NEED to remain silent.”
It’s not a Bill of Needs. It’s a Bill of Rights.
“As a practical matter, protestations of innocence by the accused have very little probative value.”
and hense reason to not use one’s refusal to answer questions as a point of evidence of guilt?
Like the guy losing his motel because a crime was committed in one of the rooms he rented out.
Please don’t be silly. I was simply pointing out that juries and prosecutors give very little weight to protestations of innocent. The same can be said for police. Nobody says, “hey, he said he didn’t do it, so he must be innocent.” Not everyone is as honest as you. Or as gullible.
Cops are skilled at drawing suspects into giving contradictory or inconsistent accounts, which is a valuable investigative tool. A lot of people think they can talk their way out of a jam, because their parents, teachers, coworkers and supervisors never had the energy and persistence to pursue their jive stories. People who have simple, unembellished stories are usually dismissed as suspects.
I can’t see how he’s assumed guilty for not answering questions. He did answer some questions, probably too many beyond confirming name and identity. He should have answered only with “I will speak with you only when my attorney is present.”
And you’re right, the 5th amendment clearly states you have the right to avoid self-incrimination, in addition to the Miranda rights to remain silent. He does not have to answer ANY questions.
If silence is agreement, then a silent hung head in response to a barrage of questions of abusing your spouse or children is an admission of guilt, take everyone away.
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