Supreme Court Rules Right To Remain Silent Revoked to Invoke

ID: ced08546860f

PostTue Jun 01, 2010 6:17 pm » by jetxvii



Supreme Court Says Suspects Must Disclose Intent to Remain Silent ... NewsSecond

WASHINGTON—Criminal defendants won't get the benefit of the Miranda rule against self-incrimination unless they specifically invoke it, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

The court also ruled unanimously in a separate case that torture victims can pursue their lawsuit against a former Somali prime minister, holding that he wasn't covered by a 1976 law exempting foreign governments from being sued.

The vote in the Miranda case was 5-4 along ideological lines as the court's conservatives put limits on the rights of suspects.

Under the Miranda rule, derived from the 1966 Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, police may not question a suspect who invokes his rights—and can't use as evidence incriminating statements obtained after the suspect does so.

In Tuesday's decision, the court ruled that an ambiguous situation would be treated in favor of the police.

The case came from Southfield, Mich., where a shooting suspect refused to sign a statement acknowledging that he had been given the Miranda warning but didn't expressly state he was invoking his right to remain silent.

Police interrogated the suspect, Van Chester Thompkins, for nearly three hours, during which time he said virtually nothing. A detective then began asking Mr. Thompkins about his religious beliefs, asking, "Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?"

Mr. Thompkins said "yes" but refused to make any further confession. The prosecution introduced the statement as evidence, and a jury convicted Mr. Thompkins.

On appeal, Mr. Thompkins's lawyers contended that use of the statement violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Writing for himself and four conservatives, Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected that argument.

"If Thompkins wanted to remain silent, he could have said nothing in response to [the detective's] questions, or he could have unambiguously invoked his Miranda rights and ended the interrogation," Justice Kennedy wrote, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

He added that no evidence suggested police coerced the statement and observed that "the interrogation was conducted in a standard-size room in the middle of the afternoon," conditions that weren't inherently coercive.

In sum, "after giving a Miranda warning, police may interrogate a suspect who has neither invoked nor waived his rights," Justice Kennedy wrote.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a dissent longer than the majority opinion, argued that the majority misread precedent and reached beyond the facts of the case to impose a tough new rule against defendants.

"Today's decision turns Miranda upside down," Justice Sotomayor wrote, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. "Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak."

In Tuesday's other major decision, the Supreme Court considered a suit by victims of torture that was allegedly committed by Somali forces under the command of former Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Samantar.

The victims sued Mr. Samantar, who now lives in Fairfax, Va., under the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes claims against people who committed torture or extrajudicial killing "under actual or apparent authority…of any foreign nation" when the home country lacks adequate remedies.

The 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act exempts foreign governments and their "agencies" and "instrumentalities" from being sued. Mr. Samantar, who served as Somalia's prime minister or defense minister before the military regime collapsed in 1991, sought to dismiss the claims, contending he was an "instrumentality" of the government.

But the court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice Stevens, held that Congress had distinguished between governments and the individuals who serve them.

While holding that the 1976 statute didn't apply, Justice Stevens left open the possibility that Mr. Samantar could raise other arguments to dismiss or defend against "the grave charges against him." However, he would have to raise those in trial court, the high court ruled.

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PostTue Jun 01, 2010 11:36 pm » by Illuminated

used to be 'better 100 guilty men go free then one sitting wrongfully convicted'

now its 'better 1000 innocent men go to jail, rather then have 1 escape our 'justice'
*and we profit all the way ...... the slide into tyranny :top:
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PostWed Jun 02, 2010 12:10 am » by Hansom

For a "law" to be lawful it must be before everything else "just".
Without justice there is no law, without law the mob rules.
Mob rule is how the word democracy is derived.

You have inalienable rights, that is you cannot put a lien against these rights.
You cannot give or take them away, you have them the moment you came into being and will have them for the rest of your existence.
No democracy or tyranny, no force in the entire cosmos can take them from you.
It is a gift along with free will, and it is your choice whether or not you use them.
Anyone or anything that tries to deny you your rights, only denies their own.
It is not fact nor true, it is just
In Lak'ech

May the force be with you, always.

ID: ced08546860f

PostWed Jun 02, 2010 1:15 am » by jetxvii

psiman wrote:
"Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak."

So do the arresting officers now have to say, " have the right to invoke your right to remain silent" or is it still just, "you have right to remain silent?" The wording ought to be changed.

Seriously though, counterintuitively, requires them to speak?... please ... just because someone says, "I invoke my right to remain silent" does not mean that they will feel compelled to want to say more.

Whats your take on what is really being lost here?

for a person like me, I know I have the right to remain silent, for an average person though, they aren't going to know this new stipulation.

as for the new law, this is a progressive first step towards automatically having that right vs. now having to ask to have that right first.

should we have to ask for our rights now? aren't we supposed to be given them?

just seems strange to have a ruling against something this marginal unless this is a first of many revisions on our rights we maybe and have been seeing lately.

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PostWed Jun 02, 2010 1:36 am » by Drextin

Not good. The police can now do anything they please to keep you from invoking your right.

The burden is not supposed to be on the person. It was a procedure to keep police in check and it didn't work so well either. They should have changed it so it made the police have to record on camera or other device them reading you your miranda rights.

I knew this case was coming up but I was sure it wouldn't change anything. That's what I get for being sure about anything these days.
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PostWed Jun 02, 2010 1:36 am » by Hansom

It is just, as in right; proper; fair.
It is also about knowing words, and when and how to use them.
For example, "I hereby make a full reservation of my inalienable birthrights, and I have no desire or intention of waiving said rights. Furthermore I neither consent to nor grant you the authority to act unlawfully toward my being in any shape way or form, do you understand ?"

Also, "May I remind you that I have the reservation of my rights, and failure to respect them sets a precedence negating my responsibilities of observing your very own same aforementioned rights."

And, "They are my rights, you have your own. Would you care to tell me what rights you believe you have, and explain how you have those rights."

@jet they cannot grant you or give you that which you already have.
It is not for you to ask them for your rights, the onus is upon them to justify why you can't have a right.
In Lak'ech

May the force be with you, always.

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PostWed Jun 02, 2010 2:17 am » by Curtjet

The basis of not incriminating oneself, means the right to not speak at all. Just by saying I invoke the 5th could be self incrimination. So when this guy said yes, he was waiving his rights to the fifth amendment.

This whole thing about having to state or invoke a right is simple wrong. Just because their may be a bunch of people on the supreme court doesn't make them smart. It only means that they toe the line. The have swallowed the democratic theory hook, line and sinker and don't base their decisions on logic or ethics.

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