Friday, June 04, 2010

"Right to Remain Silent" changed by Supreme Court

It is a refrain familiar to anyone who has watched a cop show - "You have the right to remain silent." The right, enshrined by the Supreme Court, is to remain silent until speaking with a lawyer. But now, the Supreme Court has changed this right slightly by ruling that not explicitly invoking that right is equivalent to waiving the right. This has the potential to put additional pressure on the less educated who are arrested.

The high court upheld the murder conviction of a man who did not verbally assert his right to remain silent during his police interrogation. In a 5-4 ruling, the court said a suspect must explicitly tell officers he or she is asserting that right, known as Miranda rights.
My father was a lawyer and he always advised me that FIRST thing to do if arrested - whether you are innocent or guilty - is to ask for a lawyer. Otherwise, you risk unwittingly saying something to get yourself in trouble.

1 comment:

shadowmom1 said...

And always SAY NOTHING. Innocent people are more likely to say things that can sound guilty later on.