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Supreme Court

Supreme Court rules Constitution unconstitutional - Americans no longer have right to remain silent

Thursday, July 11, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Supreme Court, constitutional protections, Fifth Amendment

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(NaturalNews) Your right to remain silent as expressly acknowledged by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been seriously called into question following a recent rogue ruling by the Supreme Court. Citing an alleged suspect's refusal to speak during informal questioning by law enforcement, the highest court in the land has decided that Fifth Amendment protections do not apply unless individuals "expressly invoke" their privilege to remain silent.

Predicated on the case of Salinas v. Texas, the Supreme Court recently declared that a young man who refused to speak up while being questioned by police about a murder is not absolved of his silence because he did not assert it prior to being questioned. The man's silence was used against him in a court of law in direct violation of the Fifth Amendment, and the Supreme Court affirmed this abuse, ruling that Fifth Amendment rights must be verbally invoked.

According to reports, Genovevo Salinas had attended a house party, and on the following night two men were shot at the same house. Police asked Salinas to come down to the station for questioning, upon which he voluntarily agreed to hand over his shotgun for testing. At no point during this process was Salinas arrested, nor was he ever read his Miranda rights - the entire encounter was "off the books," so to speak, or so thought Salinas.

Police officers baited Salinas to volunteer information that he was not required by law to share, coercing him into a situation where he no longer felt comfortable answering their questions. But rather than recognize his Fifth Amendment right to refuse further questioning, the officers used Salinas' refusal to speak as evidence against him in court, insinuating that his silence was an acknowledgement of guilt.

Salinas tried to rebut this inappropriate action against him, but the Supreme Court ultimately sided with law enforcement's badgering and manipulation. Justice Samuel Alito was the first to reject Salinas' rights, claiming that he was "free to leave" at any time, and never "invoked" his right to remain silent. And Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia affirmed this, going even further to suggest that Salinas had no right to silence in the first place.

"[Salinas] had remained silent, and the Supreme Court had previously made clear that prosecutors can't bring up a defendant's refusal to answer the state's questions," writes Brandon L. Garrett for Slate.com about the case. "This time around, however, Justice Samuel Alito blithely responded that Salinas was 'free to leave' and did not assert his right to remain silent. He was silent. But somehow without a lawyer, and without being told his rights, he should have affirmatively 'invoked' his right to not answer questions."

'Conservative' judges unilaterally nullify provisions that protect individuals from coerced incrimination

Garrett and other commentators seem to agree that the Supreme Court's decision in the case is out of line. Some journalists have even come out to say that the Supreme Court has basically scrapped what little is left of the Constitution, removing key protections that guard against the types of police abuse and manipulation that lead to false confessions.

"Guilty or not, suspects in the United States no longer have the right to remain silent," writes Joe Wolverton, II, J.D., for The New American. "If they remain silent ... that silence will now be interpreted as guilt and will indeed - despite what you see on television court and cop dramas - be used against that person in a court of law. Even, in fact, the highest court in the land."

You can read the full Supreme Court ruling here:

Sources for this article include:




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