10 votes

June 17, 2013: U.S. Supreme Court Delivers Blow to Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent During Police Questioning

WASHINGTON, DC —In a blow to the fundamental right of citizens to remain silent, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that persons who are not under arrest must specifically invoke their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in order to avoid having their refusal to answer police questions used against them in a subsequent criminal trial. In a 5-4 decision in Salinas v. Texas, the Court upheld the conviction of Genovevo Salinas, who was found guilty of homicide after prosecutors argued that Salinas’ silence during a police interview prior to his arrest was a “very important piece of evidence” and that only a guilty person would have remained silent when questioned about his connection to a crime. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion that Salinas “was required to assert the privilege in order to benefit from it,” even though a person questioned while under arrest could not have his silence used against him. The Rutherford Institute filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, arguing that a person’s refusal to answer police questions, even before arrest and before Miranda warnings are given, does not indicate guilt in light of the well-known “right to remain silent,” and exclusion of evidence of silence is in keeping with the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that “[n]o person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Salinas v. Texas is available at https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_fro...

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meekandmild's picture

The judges who voted for this

need to be removed from the Supreme Court. they are no longer in good standing because of purging their oath to support and defend the constitution

IOW SCOTUS rules your rights come from the govt

Note how the article speaks about the Fifth Amendment’s 'privilege'. My right to remain silent is not a 'privilege', but an inalienable, natural, God-given right. This decision makes no sense.
Rutherford needs to run another case through the courts as to ascertain where our rights come from.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison