The Supreme Court rules that a person’s silence can be used against them. What?????
We have a “right to remain silent” – so how can that silence be used against us? Check out the excerpt below and I included the link to the full article.
So – on another “right to remain silent” situation is DC — this would seem to be evidence that Lois Lerner is guilty of something since she talked and then refused to answer questions and then invoked her right to remain silent… please tell me the Supreme Court isn’t taking their cues on legal procedure from the IRS and the Obama Administration…
Supreme Court Rules That Pre-Miranda Silence Can Be Used In Court
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says prosecutors can use a person’s silence against them if it comes before he’s told of his right to remain silent.
The 5-4 ruling comes in the case of Genovevo Salinas, who was convicted of a 1992 murder. During police questioning, and before he was arrested or read his Miranda rights, Salinas answered some questions but did not answer when asked if a shotgun he had access to would match up with the murder weapon.
Prosecutors in Texas used his silence on that question in convicting him of murder, saying it helped demonstrate his guilt. Salinas appealed, saying his Fifth Amendment rights to stay silent should have kept lawyers from using his silence against him in court. Texas courts disagreed, saying pre-Miranda silence is not protected by the Constitution.
The high court upheld that decision.
The Fifth Amendment protects Americans against forced self-incrimination, with the Supreme Court saying that prosecutors cannot comment on a defendant’s refusal to testify at trial. The courts have expanded that right to answering questions in police custody, with police required to tell people under arrest they have a right to remain silent without it being used in court.
Prosecutors argued that since Salinas was answering some questions – therefore not invoking his right to silence – and since he wasn’t under arrest and wasn’t compelled to speak, his silence on the incriminating question doesn’t get constitutional protection.