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 ...
I don’t practice criminal defense or con law. However, I think there is a conflict on the issue of using silence as evidence of guilt, which is why the matter is before the Supreme Court.
My discussion is based on my perception of the rationale for the 5th Amendment. We don’t force people to take the stand in their defense, because it seems wrong to do so. We DO allow defendants to testify. It seems fair to me to allow the fact that the Defendant elected not to testify to be argued. The defendant was still not forced to testify.
This only matters if we are trying to determine the truth.
So, in short - you have to be asked to be TAKEN INTO CUSTODY before you can remain silent? Great.......
Do not talk to the police...
In that case could they just use common sense? Nawwh probably not, no profit in that.
No offense or disrespect intended but you lack experience. First, police officers look for ‘probable cause’ and they have a lot of leeway on exactly how they interpret what that is. If you say “she ran into the street and I was worried that she would be harmed so ***I pursued her*** until I saw it was no use so I backed off but I never touched her” and so on, the officers will hear only that you “pursued her” and then cuff you, book you and jail you.
It is ALWAYS best to have a lawyer talk to the police. Never advise anyone to talk to the police without an attorney.
Looks like we’re on the path to Napoleonic Law - guilty until proven innocent.
Considering I believe God has already judged us, and has found us to be unworthy of his divine protection, it would be safe to assume that based on Mark 15 that the court will rule against the 5th amendment and in favor of the corrupt state. You can guarantee it at this point.
There is a Youtube video called Do Not talk to cops’ and there’s a reason to it.
And we all thought that the rights in the Bill Of Rights came from our Creator? No, it comes from the police!
It’s Houston. I think they use Mex-can law there and in Austin.
In Obama's Constitution of Negative Rights, lack of giving testimony is evidence of guilt.
Does this apply to redacted Fast And Furious documents? Are we to assume that Obama and Holder are guilty because they refused to give the evidence that was requested?
Yes officer, I had 3 Diet Cokes.
In the Lord of the Rings there are Nine rings given to mankind, and these corrupted them into the Nazgul, some quicker than others but all fell to the lure of power... there are nine seats on the Supreme court that seem to have a similar effect on judges. Coincidence?
“Thank you for volunteering, Citizen. We will assign four soldiers to your residence shortly.”
—U.S. Army Quartermaster
I refer you gents to the 5th Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
First note the underlined portion: this strictly states that the unpaid taking of property is prohibited -- and indeed the public use portion must be in effect, for the Law Enforcement Agent/Agency is acting in public office.
So then this restriction applies even if such takings are "authorized by law" -- but authorized certainly doesn't mean that there has been due process. A prime example would be Ruby Ridge: Lon was authorized to kill, that authorization was not under the due process of law -- as the sixth amendment clearly states that in all criminal matters one is to be given the ability to defend himself and none of those at Ruby Ridge were.
It is therefore evident that even if there is some "authorization" for these "administrative takings" these are not necessarily under due process of law; in such manner we begin to see these seizure procedures as the evil usurpation [by the executive] that they are.
Ten little, nine little, eight little amendments, seven, little six little five little amendments, for little three little two little amendments....setting them up like bowling pins, aren’t they?
If questioned by police [FOR ANY REASON], you should immediately invoke both the right to keep silent and that all communications by the police must be made to your attorney.
Then, you clam up - totally. Answer NO questions AT ALL.
It does not matter whether you are considered a suspect or not. You keep your trap shut and let your mouthpiece do the talking.
Seems that, in the case here, the police are relying on the fact that the man was voluntarily talking and THEN clammed up.
... and this from people who were against Bush’s waterboarding of terrorists... nice
Now the free citizen merely stopped on the road is going to be treated worse than an apprehended terrorist.
“Yeah, it would be amusing if Roberts had not taken a dive on Obama Care. Whos to say which way this guy will go in the future. He wouldnt be the first Supreme to turn after be selected.”
” the Lord of the Rings there are Nine rings given to mankind, and these corrupted them into the Nazgul, some quicker than others but all fell to the lure of power... there are nine seats on the Supreme court that seem to have a similar effect on judges. Coincidence?”
Good analogy; maybe the old proverb “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” when applied to the supremes?
“You have the right to remain silent...psych!!!”
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.No person can be compelled to be a witness against himself.
Compel: "to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure".
Being told during questioning "refusal to answer our questions now may greatly increase the odds of your being convicted" seems pretty compelling to me. For the Fifth Amendment to mean ANYTHING, there must be no mention at trial of any refusal to submit to questioning.
That may be, but juries routinely take a defendant’s refusal to testify into account. The Constitution is not a suicide pact and it does not require us to abandon our common sense. You are perfectly free to clam up when questioned by the coppers and juries should be free to know ALL the facts in the case and draw whatever inferences they deem reasonable.
There is no reason it shouldn't; I seem to recall a story about one of the Founders, who upon hearing the Constitution appointed USSC Justices for life lamented the life of the new nation, considering it already dead.
I think a lot of our troubles now are due to the commonly held belief in a lie: that the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means. If they can alter the Constitution in a manner, not permitted by the Constitution, then their authority is over it and not subject to it; but if the Constitution is the authority that authorizes and institutes the Supreme Court then it is the court that is subject to the Constitution. This stems from the very basic nature of authority, which Jesus observed: the one who is sent is under the authority of the one sending.
The Jury decides guilt and innocence, period. They can declare innocent one who has broken the law, even if he acted with full knowledge and intent — because they judge not only facts, but the law as well: they have no obligation to further unjust laws. Furthermore, because the jury’s power to determine guilt or innocence is not [and cannot] be limited, the Jury can decide you are guilty because you did not shave. That may be wrong — but that is the nature of the power to decide innocence or guilt.
I disagree. Only actually forcing a defendant to testify counts. Whether in a particular case standing silent should be considered evidence of guilt should depend upon the circumstances. If a defendant has been proven to have been present at the scene of a crime, but who takes the position that he was not involved, he ought to come forward and say so, and face cross examination. We ought not force him to do so, but again, we are in a search for the truth. This is not a game. The trier of fact is entitled to all of the evidence. We allow the defendant not to testify, but the prosecution ought to be able to argue, for example: “Mr. X placed the defendant at the scene. In fact, Mr. X was arrested at the scene. His DNA is on the murder weapon. In fact, before he chose to stop cooperating with the police, he admitted that he was there. He now contends, through the testimony of Mr. Y, that he while he was there, he was not involved in the crime. He could provide evidence that could at a minimum establish reasonable doubt in your minds, yet he stands silent. Why would he do this? I suggest that he is silent because either he does not want to commit perjury, or if he tells the truth, he would have to admit his involvement. Our system of justice does not force him to take the stand and admit what he did, but you may draw your own conclusions... etc.”
This only matters if we are trying to find the truth. If we are playing a game, of course, then the result may be different.
Oops. In post 129 it should read “Defendant was arrested at the scene,” not Mr. X.
there is no duty of “cooperation”.
The uniform alone constitutes intimidation by authority.
Right to remain silent means just that, silence is a right of the individual.
A duty to speak could be construed as a duty to prove innocence. (see also duty to die for the public good)
The Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to strike down the Fifth Amendment.
We have many rights, the exercise of some of them may have consequences. For example, we have the right to free speech, but some speech may cost us in various ways, such as job opportunities or a lowered position in the eyes of some. I am free to practice my faith, and others are free to consider my faith evidence of my stupidity. It is a price that exercising freedoms can cost.
Keeping silent is our right; having others agree that in some circumstances that such silence doesn’t suggest culpability is not a right (or should not be, in my view). Defense counsel may be able to make a very good argument as to why the defendant has elected not to testify: he no longer recalls what happened; he has no evidence to offer because he was not anywhere near where the crime occurred (of course he could testify to that effect if he wished); he is too stupid to avoid being tricked to admit to something he did not do when being cross examined, etc.
I don't know. Frankly, I think silence does suggest (not prove) guilt. There may be other reasons for silence, including, say, guilt for something else, legal or illegal that you do not wish known.
However, the fact of silence should not be allowed in court. We all know of (think 'OJ') guilty parties that have gotten off. That's the way the law works.
Robert Bork, who took a leave of absence from law school to serve as a tank commander in Korea, during the Korean War, said that if he was innocent he would prefer a court-martial, if he was guilty, he would prefer a jury.
Think O. J.
Jury instructions remind the jury about the 5th amendment and the right not to speak.
Also plea bargains forms or questions include the waiving of that right.
I think there is more to this case. The MSM usually/always gets legal reporting wrong.
If the prosecutor tried to get a police officer to offer those thoughts in direct testimony, the defense attorney would object as leading the witness. Defense would argue that the officer was assuming facts about the defendent that are not offered into evidence.
That 5th Amendment is just so pesky!
If she drowns then she was innocent. If she floats then she is a witch and will be burned?
Exactly - only never an admission that there may have been any innocence. Once the government comes after you, you're as guilty as is the IRS was on your case...
If the court rules in the affirmative to undermining Miranda then surely the burning and drowning of witches would be right and just.
Forgot to mention the 5th amendment, which is the supreme argument and ultimate right, which is also inalienable and no one should be compelled to self incriminate.
You are the accuser and you must your case based on evidence.
If the Supreme Court does rule to undermine the 5th and Miranda, and if a defendent should speak on his behalf proclaiming his innocence, it would not be to far fetched to make the leap by prosecutors to proclaim a defendant is presenting his guilt by way of “He doth protest to much”, he must be guilty.
Maybe he said that -- but I can think of one whole class of laws that are considered legitimate and lend themselves to assuming guilt: drug laws. It is thanks to them that the police can assume any large amount of cash on your person is/was meant for a drug transaction, take it, and make you have to prove that it was not.
Think O. J.
O.J. was acquitted because the prosecution sucked. Also, one Freeper mentioned that it looked like OJ was taking the fall for his son, based on the
Drugs laws are stupid, stupidly enforced, and not appropriate in a free country. Agreed. OJ was guilty as hell and freed by a nitwit jury.
Robert Bork wasn’t always right about everything, but from what I’ve seen of juries and courts-martial, I think he was on to something. I know one court-martial was rigged to let off an NCO in my unit who slapped some kid who was AWOL (basically the prosecution witnesses’ jeep “broke down” and the defendant was let off), but in the scheme of things justice was served: a good NCO got his ass pulled through a ringer for a stupid act, but he didn’t lose his pension or go to jail.
Indeed, some cops are so skilled they can befuddle just about anyone into giving contradictory or inconsistent accounts of their actions, whether or not the person did anything wrong. This can greatly facilitate scoring convictions in cases where the cops can't find the real criminal.
And of course the low-info public is too focused on King Obama’s inauguration to care about yet another possible erosion of the US Constitution.
And I guarantee you, that the kook fringe leftists who would be protesting in the streets over this, won’t utter a word about it now.
Police take training courses in how to lie to a suspect in order to elicit a confession. Folks might object if I said this makes them professional liars, but they certainly aren’t amateurs.
In a perfect world, prosecutors and defense lawyers would essentially be neutral, both seeking truth and justice, according to law.
In the real world, that is not what happens.
Defense attorneys lie.
Even the innocent are forced to silence, in the face of so many lies and liars.
Any words uttered may seemingly add weight to anothers lie.
When and if severe consequences for perjury for criminals, witnesses, cops, prosecutors and defense lawyers(not to mention politicians) are routine, I will reconsider your stated position.
Absent that time of utopia, I will not consider silence an admission of guilt, nor something that needs to be considered as evidence of guilt.
I was going to post that video if you didn’t! Not sure it is exactly about what this thread is about - but sure reminded me of it.
“guilty until proven innocent”
Hey - it still works for most of Europe IIRC. What? You think America is better than Europe for some reason!!??