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.Of course, if the Court finds that prior to arrest there is no "criminal case" against a suspect, then the Amendment won't apply. It is upon such fine distinctions that case law develops.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Supreme Court to decide if silence by a suspect is legal evidence of guilt
Does a defendant's refusal to answer questions prior to arrest constitute evidence of guilt? That's the question the Supreme Court is going to decide, having announced review of a criminal case that centers on that issue. Here's the story. SCOTUSblog has a post with links to the relevant documents in the case. And just for reference purposes, here's the text of the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States: