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Thread: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

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    Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    Has someone posted about this new ruling?

    Here is where the liberal judges on the Court and I disagree. I totally support the ruling in this case, which was decided by the righties and Anthony Kennedy. Sotomayor is apparently furious about it. Sorry, toots.

    Criminal suspects should speak up if they want to preserve their right to remain silent, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. Conservative justices ruled for police in the latest test of the court's famous Miranda rule and shifted the burden to suspects to invoke their right to refuse questioning.

    The court ruled 5 to 4 that a Michigan defendant who incriminated himself in a fatal shooting by saying one word after nearly three hours of questioning had given up his right to silence, and that the statement could be used against him at trial.

    "Where the prosecution shows that a Miranda warning was given and that it was understood by the accused, an accused's uncoerced statement establishes an implied waiver of the right to remain silent," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.

    washingtonpost.com
    Those who disagree with the ruling, can you tell me why it's a bad decision? This defendant voluntarily said something in response to a question.

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this decision, coming from THIS law enforcers perspective.
    This decision clarifies the question of the admissibility of testimony when someone decides that they do not want to verbally or non-verbally invoke or waive their rights.
    It also closes a loophole so that it cannot be used in future defense to get an admittedly guilty person off of a crime. We don't need more criminals getting off on BS technicalities.

    Kudos to the Supreme Court.
    "I condemn the ideology of White Supremacy and Nazism. They are thugs, criminals, and repugnant, and are against what I believe to be "The American Way" "
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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    I'm confused. Okay, so you're TOLD that you 'have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you'. And the suspect SAYS something. This ruling just confirms that it can be used against them? Just seems redundant, or am I missing something?

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    I don't see this ruling as a problem either. There doesn't seem to be much of a burden placed on an individual to say "I wish to remain silent." Also it gets it out in the open and reduces the necessity of judgment calls which should make the process easier for everyone involved.

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    I'm confused. Okay, so you're TOLD that you 'have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you'. And the suspect SAYS something. This ruling just confirms that it can be used against them? Just seems redundant, or am I missing something?
    I need to read the dissent to see what Sotomayor says, but I think that once a defendant invokes his Miranda rights, it used to be that the police must stop asking questions period. In this case, they asked him a question after he invoked his right to remain silent. I agree--that's HIS problem that he chose to speak!

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Caine View Post
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this decision, coming from THIS law enforcers perspective.
    This decision clarifies the question of the admissibility of testimony when someone decides that they do not want to verbally or non-verbally invoke or waive their rights.
    It also closes a loophole so that it cannot be used in future defense to get an admittedly guilty person off of a crime. We don't need more criminals getting off on BS technicalities.

    Kudos to the Supreme Court.
    I always like hearing/reading people's thoughts whose work implicate the holdings in a particular Supreme Court case. The thought that this guy could have gotten off just because he answered a question is disgusting, IMO. Tough luck, dude (the defendant).

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    I need to read the dissent to see what Sotomayor says, but I think that once a defendant invokes his Miranda rights, it used to be that the police must stop asking questions period. In this case, they asked him a question after he invoked his right to remain silent. I agree--that's HIS problem that he chose to speak!
    As I read it, He failed to either invoke nor waive his right when given the opportunity to do so. He literally remained silent, even to the question of whether he wanted to waive or invoke his rights. Without a clear signal of what he wished to do, Detectives continued to talk to him and ask him questions which he ignored, just as he did the opportunity to invoke or waive his rights.

    Had he stated he did not wish to speak to Detectives without an attorney, or that he did not wish to speak to Detectives period, then the "questioning" would have ceased. Instead he did neither. He, in a sense, just looked at the Detectives like they had a dick growing out of their forehead.

    All this does is make it necessary for someone to actually give a response so that we may carry on with the next item on the list of **** to do. Breaking "silence" to invoke or waive rights is NOT self incriminating.

    Personally, I disagree with the Miranda warning in general. Its not a police officer's responsibility to give suspects a civics lesson, and nowhere in the constitution does it state so. However, the Supreme Court is "Supreme" and created this requirement, void any constitutional requirement for us to do so, so it must be done.

    As far As I can See, Sotomayor's dissent is just whining about semantics, Boo hoo, They have to break their silence to inform a Detective they wish to remain silent. Sounds like a judge who loves loopholes if you ask me.
    Last edited by Caine; 06-02-10 at 01:15 PM.
    "I condemn the ideology of White Supremacy and Nazism. They are thugs, criminals, and repugnant, and are against what I believe to be "The American Way" "
    Thus my obligatory condemnation of White supremacy will now be in every post, lest I be accused of supporting it because I didn't mention it specifically every time I post.

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    This ruling is just obnoxious. If a suspect refuses to speak a word after being advised of their right to remain silent, its clear that they are invoking the right. Its a catch 22 if you have to speak to invoke your right, but speaking automatically waives your right. While its not a huge issue, I don't like the government playing tricks to get around constitutional protections.

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    This ruling is just obnoxious. If a suspect refuses to speak a word after being advised of their right to remain silent, its clear that they are invoking the right. Its a catch 22 if you have to speak to invoke your right, but speaking automatically waives your right. While its not a huge issue, I don't like the government playing tricks to get around constitutional protections.
    Stating that You wish to waive your right to self incrimination is not self incrimination. Thus it does not violate the constitution.

    I find people who come to the conclusion that speaking up to invoke your right to remain silent about the charges pending against you as unconstituional to be obnoxious.

    I don't like people playing tricks to waste time and be a douche just for the sake of being a douche, Just ****ing say you don't want to talk and stop wasting time, don't stare at someone like they have a dick growing out of their forehead.
    "I condemn the ideology of White Supremacy and Nazism. They are thugs, criminals, and repugnant, and are against what I believe to be "The American Way" "
    Thus my obligatory condemnation of White supremacy will now be in every post, lest I be accused of supporting it because I didn't mention it specifically every time I post.

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    Re: Supreme Court: Suspects must invoke right to remain silent in interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    This ruling is just obnoxious. If a suspect refuses to speak a word after being advised of their right to remain silent, its clear that they are invoking the right. Its a catch 22 if you have to speak to invoke your right, but speaking automatically waives your right. While its not a huge issue, I don't like the government playing tricks to get around constitutional protections.
    You don't waive your right to remain silent by speaking once, or twice, or ten times, as you can assert the right at any point in the process. If a cop asks you your name and you answer, that doesn't mean that you then are forced to answer his questions about a murder. You can just say "I don't want to answer any more questions" or "I want to talk to a lawyer" or just sit there silently.

    In the case at hand, the cops brought a guy in for questioning. They read him his rights and then started asking him questions. He ignored most of the questions, but answered others. Eventually, he answered a question in a way that incriminated him. He argued that by virtue of the fact that he remained mostly silent, that was the same thing as asserting his right to silence. I think that's an incredibly strained reading, as he very clearly did not stay silent, instead answering questions sporadically.

    One of the best comments I've seen on the decision:

    Justice Sotomayor criticized the majority for going further than needed to decide the case before it. True, but it is kind of odd to make that criticism in a Miranda case, as Miranda itself is the exemplar of going further than necessary to decide the case.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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