You do NOT have a…

You do NOT have a right to remain silent

This is genuinely scary (from Blog Left: Critical Interventions)

Miranda could be reversed  Ruling in Oxnard [California] case could reinterpret landmark decision on rights during police questioning. …Maybe you don’t have a right to remain silent after all.

The Supreme Court in its landmark Miranda opinion ruled that police must respect the rights of people who are held for questioning. Officers must warn them of their right to remain silent, and, equally important, honor their refusal to talk further. But that widely known rule is about to be reconsidered in the high court in the case of a farm worker here who was shot five times after a brief encounter with police.
Legal experts say the case has the potential to reshape the law governing everyday encounters between police and the public…

Bush administration lawyers have sided with the police in the case. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 4. Police can hold people in custody and force them to talk, so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Theodore B. Olson and Michael Chertoff, the chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, say in their brief to the court. [Recall that Olson was the lawyer who defended the Florida election results before the Supreme Court in 2000, and helped Bush get elected with a majority of one in the 5 to 4 decision.]

It “will chill legitimate law enforcement efforts to obtain potentially life-saving information during emergencies,” including terrorism alerts, if police and FBI agents can be sued for coercive questioning, they add.
Legal experts on the other side of the case foresee far-reaching effects if the police prevail.

“This will be, in essence, a reversal of Miranda,” said University of Texas law professor Susan Klein.”Officers will be told Miranda is not a constitutional right. If there is no right, and you are not liable, why should you honor the right to silence?” she asked. “I think it means you will see more police using threats and violence to get people to talk. Innocent people will be subjected to very unpleasant experiences.” 

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes