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    To the point

    A 5-4 decision on a Michigan case chips away at the right of innocent Ameri­cans not to talk after being arrested.

    High court ruling erodes Miranda



    “You have the right to remain silent.” But the U.S.

    Supreme Court now says you may have to speak up to claim that right during po­lice questioning after arrest.

    This is the ironic effect of a 5-4 ruling of the court on Tuesday. As a result, Van Chester Thompkins, 33, will continue to serve a life sen­tence for the January, 2000, murder of Samuel Morris, who was killed in a drive-by shooting outside a mall in Southfield.

    The new ruling essentially chips away at Americans’ Miranda rights. And that’s disturbing if you under­stand that those rights, as set down in a landmark 1966 ruling, were designed to pro­tect all citizens — including the innocent.

    Police advised Mr. Thomp­kins of his right to remain silent when they arrested him for the 2000 murder.

    And mostly he did, giving only occasional one-word answers to questions such as whether his chair was hard.

    He never said he wanted to waive his rights.

    But police continued to question him in a small room for nearly three hours.

    Toward the end, they asked him if he prayed to God to forgive him “for shooting that boy down.” He said yes, and the statement was used to help convict him.

    His lawyers appealed.

    A state appeals court and then the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against him, but later a federal appeals court ruled in his favor. The appeals panel held that Mr.

    Thompkins’ “persistent si­lence for nearly three hours in response to questioning and repeated invitations to tell his side of the story offered a clear and unequivo­cal message to the officers” that he didn’t wish to waive his rights.

    The high court unfortu­nately disagreed. Writing for the majority, Justice An­thony Kennedy, a frequent swing voter, sided with the court’s four conservatives.

    He observed: “Had Thomp­kins said that he wanted to remain silent or that he did not want to talk, he would have invoked his right to end the questioning. He did neither.”

    But this reasoning runs completely counter to the 1966 decision in Miranda vs. Arizona. That ruling declared that if a suspect “indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the inter­rogation must cease. If the interrogation continues without the presence of an attorney and a statement is taken, a heavy burden rests on the government to dem­onstrate that the defendant knowingly and intelligently waived his privilege against self-incrimination.”

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the court minor-i­ty, observed that the major­ity decision “turns Miranda upside down.” She’s right.

    The ruling shifts the burden for protecting rights dra­matically, from the police to the suspect.

    The 1966 Miranda ruling often gets knocked. But it’s an acknowledgment that law enforcement can become overzealous in questioning suspects. Long interroga­tions can become coercive — sometimes to the detri­ment of suspects who in fact are innocent of a crime.

    Miranda was an attempt to curb police abuses.

    Now, thanks to the high court’s decision, suspects who are arrested need to tell police specifically that they don’t wish to talk if they want to protect their rights fully. That may be fine for those who keep up with the news and understand the ruling. But what about those who don’t?









    ">Copyright 2010 Monroe Publishing Co. 06/05/2010


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    This case was heard to protect your rights. The controversy at hand was whether or not "silence" constituted telling the police you wouldn't talk to them. The Court ruled that is not the case. That means if you sit there and don't say anything at all (ie: remain totally silent) that the police can continue to question and investigate you. Only after you expressly say "I will not answer any questions" or "I will now exercise my 5th amendment right" or something of that nature does that constitute the protections under the 5th amendment. Saying nothing tells the police just that, nothing.

    This case is pretty easy to see. In most cases you would just say "I won't be answering questions without my lawyer present" and that's it. This case is says the police will stop questioning you at that point. But if you sit there and play a staring game and don't say a word this case allows for the police to continue questioning.

    Notice that in this case the filer was actually answering questions.

    This does not "chip away at Miranda rights". It solidifies them into a much more concrete process. If anything this is another case that will add the the already massive amount of case law that upholds Miranda.

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    Regular Member eastmeyers's Avatar
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    Sefner wrote:
    This case was heard to protect your rights. The controversy at hand was whether or not "silence" constituted telling the police you wouldn't talk to them. The Court ruled that is not the case. That means if you sit there and don't say anything at all (ie: remain totally silent) that the police can continue to question and investigate you. Only after you expressly say "I will not answer any questions" or "I will now exercise my 5th amendment right" or something of that nature does that constitute the protections under the 5th amendment. Saying nothing tells the police just that, nothing.

    This case is pretty easy to see. In most cases you would just say "I won't be answering questions without my lawyer present" and that's it. This case is says the police will stop questioning you at that point. But if you sit there and play a staring game and don't say a word this case allows for the police to continue questioning.

    Notice that in this case the filer was actually answering questions.

    This does not "chip away at Miranda rights". It solidifies them into a much more concrete process. If anything this is another case that will add the the already massive amount of case law that upholds Miranda.
    +1
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    Regular Member TheSzerdi's Avatar
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    Sefner wrote:
    This case was heard to protect your rights. The controversy at hand was whether or not "silence" constituted telling the police you wouldn't talk to them. The Court ruled that is not the case. That means if you sit there and don't say anything at all (ie: remain totally silent) that the police can continue to question and investigate you. Only after you expressly say "I will not answer any questions" or "I will now exercise my 5th amendment right" or something of that nature does that constitute the protections under the 5th amendment. Saying nothing tells the police just that, nothing.

    This case is pretty easy to see. In most cases you would just say "I won't be answering questions without my lawyer present" and that's it. This case is says the police will stop questioning you at that point. But if you sit there and play a staring game and don't say a word this case allows for the police to continue questioning.

    Notice that in this case the filer was actually answering questions.

    This does not "chip away at Miranda rights". It solidifies them into a much more concrete process. If anything this is another case that will add the the already massive amount of case law that upholds Miranda.
    So you agree that you must repeatedly invoke each right whenever you want to use it? Therefore you must state to police that you are invoking your 2A right to carry or they can arrest you for carrying a firearm?

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    TheSzerdi wrote:
    Sefner wrote:
    This case was heard to protect your rights. The controversy at hand was whether or not "silence" constituted telling the police you wouldn't talk to them. The Court ruled that is not the case. That means if you sit there and don't say anything at all (ie: remain totally silent) that the police can continue to question and investigate you. Only after you expressly say "I will not answer any questions" or "I will now exercise my 5th amendment right" or something of that nature does that constitute the protections under the 5th amendment. Saying nothing tells the police just that, nothing.

    This case is pretty easy to see. In most cases you would just say "I won't be answering questions without my lawyer present" and that's it. This case is says the police will stop questioning you at that point. But if you sit there and play a staring game and don't say a word this case allows for the police to continue questioning.

    Notice that in this case the filer was actually answering questions.

    This does not "chip away at Miranda rights". It solidifies them into a much more concrete process. If anything this is another case that will add the the already massive amount of case law that upholds Miranda.
    So you agree that you must repeatedly invoke each right whenever you want to use it? Therefore you must state to police that you are invoking your 2A right to carry or they can arrest you for carrying a firearm?
    Not at all. It is a misnomer to say you have the "right to remain silent". What you have is a right to not self-incriminate and the Miranda reads "right to remain silent" instead of "right to not self-incriminate" because it had to be written to a standard that people of "average intelligence" would know what it means... not saying that average people don't know what it means, I'm just saying that's how it is. So to invoke the right to not self-incriminate you need to say "I'm not going to self-incriminate". This can also be stated as "I will not answer questions" or "I choose to remain silent" or something of that nature. The police simply don't know if you are choosing to not self-incriminate if you sit and stare at the floor. They may even take that as a sign that you are ready for a confession. Remember, body language is a language too and can speak more than words. Especially in an interrogation.

    edit: left out the "not" in "right to not self incriminate" >.< also grammar

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    Regular Member TheSzerdi's Avatar
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    Sefner wrote:
    Not at all. It is a misnomer to say you have the "right to remain silent". What you have is a right to not self-incriminate and the Miranda reads "right to remain silent" instead of "right to not self-incriminate" because it had to be written to a standard that people of "average intelligence" would know what it means... not saying that average people don't know what it means, I'm just saying that's how it is. So to invoke the right to not self-incriminate you need to say "I'm not going to self-incriminate". This can also be stated as "I will not answer questions" or "I choose to remain silent" or something of that nature. The police simply don't know if you are choosing to not self-incriminate if you sit and stare at the floor. They may even take that as a sign that you are ready for a confession. Remember, body language is a language too and can speak more than words. Especially in an interrogation.

    edit: left out the "not" in "right to not self incriminate" >.< also grammar
    I think you made my point for me. If you must invoke a right by performing some action, is it a right? That's a short step away from licensing. Is not acquiring a license merely performing an action?

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    TheSzerdi wrote:
    Sefner wrote:
    Not at all. It is a misnomer to say you have the "right to remain silent". What you have is a right to not self-incriminate and the Miranda reads "right to remain silent" instead of "right to not self-incriminate" because it had to be written to a standard that people of "average intelligence" would know what it means... not saying that average people don't know what it means, I'm just saying that's how it is. So to invoke the right to not self-incriminate you need to say "I'm not going to self-incriminate". This can also be stated as "I will not answer questions" or "I choose to remain silent" or something of that nature. The police simply don't know if you are choosing to not self-incriminate if you sit and stare at the floor. They may even take that as a sign that you are ready for a confession. Remember, body language is a language too and can speak more than words. Especially in an interrogation.

    edit: left out the "not" in "right to not self incriminate" >.< also grammar
    I think you made my point for me. If you must invoke a right by performing some action, is it a right? That's a short step away from licensing. Is not acquiring a license merely performing an action?
    You can remain silent and your right is still invoked without saying a word. If you want them to stop questioning you, you have to verbally invoke the right.

    What's the big deal? Invoke by remaining silent, and they will continue to question. As long as you remain silent, you're golden.

    If you don't want to be "broken" by their questions, Verbally invoke your right to remain silent, and they stop asking questions.

    Big deal over nothing, IMO.

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    The only reason it's a big deal is because many, if not most, people aren't as educated about the law and their rights and especially about sticky little changes like this one.

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    Okay listen of course you have the right to remain silent. If you remain silent and don't say anything, than the police still can question you, this has not taken away your rights, you can still be silent, them talking does not magically take away your ability to not talk. The only thing this means is IF you SAY "I am remaining silent", than they have to stop questioning you. That isit. Period.

    God Bless

    I don't think I can make it easier than that.
    "Bam, I like saying bam when I cite something, in fact I think I shall do this from here on out, as long as I remember.
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    "Then said he to them, But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his sack: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
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    God Bless

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    Regular Member TheSzerdi's Avatar
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    eastmeyers wrote:
    Okay listen of course you have the right to remain silent. If you remain silent and don't say anything, than the police still can question you, this has not taken away your rights, you can still be silent, them talking does not magically take away your ability to not talk. The only thing this means is IF you SAY "I am remaining silent", than they have to stop questioning you. That isit. Period.

    God Bless

    I don't think I can make it easier than that.
    So it's alright for police to harass you for carrying your firearm until you actually invoke your rights at which time they must stop harassing you?

    I understand where your coming from, but it sounds an awful lot like 'background checks before purchasing a firearm are a good thing.' It's a "reasonable restriction." Anything that gives more power to the government and/or takes power from the people is a bad thing to my mind.

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    TheSzerdi wrote:
    eastmeyers wrote:
    Okay listen of course you have the right to remain silent.* If you remain silent and don't say anything, than the police still can question you, this has not taken away your rights, you can still be silent, them talking does not magically take away your ability to not talk.* The only thing this means is IF you SAY "I am remaining silent", than they have to stop questioning you.* That is*it.* Period.*

    God Bless

    I don't think I can make it easier than that.
    So it's alright for police to harass you for carrying your firearm until you actually invoke your rights at which time they must stop harassing you?

    I understand where your coming from, but it sounds an awful lot like 'background checks before purchasing a firearm are a good thing.' It's a "reasonable restriction." Anything that gives more power to the government and/or takes power from the people is a bad thing to my mind.
    Dude.

    This is talking about AFTER arrest is affected, when you're being QUESTIONED - as in, at the station.

    Nothing in this SCOTUS case has anything to do with interaction with officers before MIRANDA RIGHTS have been read.

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    Regular Member TheSzerdi's Avatar
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    zigziggityzoo wrote:
    TheSzerdi wrote:
    eastmeyers wrote:
    Okay listen of course you have the right to remain silent. If you remain silent and don't say anything, than the police still can question you, this has not taken away your rights, you can still be silent, them talking does not magically take away your ability to not talk. The only thing this means is IF you SAY "I am remaining silent", than they have to stop questioning you. That isit. Period.

    God Bless

    I don't think I can make it easier than that.
    So it's alright for police to harass you for carrying your firearm until you actually invoke your rights at which time they must stop harassing you?

    I understand where your coming from, but it sounds an awful lot like 'background checks before purchasing a firearm are a good thing.' It's a "reasonable restriction." Anything that gives more power to the government and/or takes power from the people is a bad thing to my mind.
    Dude.

    This is talking about AFTER arrest is affected, when you're being QUESTIONED - as in, at the station.

    Nothing in this SCOTUS case has anything to do with interaction with officers before MIRANDA RIGHTS have been read.
    So you don't have any rights until you're arrested?

    The point is that this ruling removes responsibility from the police and places it on the people and that is not right. It's basically giving the police a free pass to violate your rights unless you specifically claim them.

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    TheSzerdi wrote:
    zigziggityzoo wrote:
    TheSzerdi wrote:
    eastmeyers wrote:
    Okay listen of course you have the right to remain silent.* If you remain silent and don't say anything, than the police still can question you, this has not taken away your rights, you can still be silent, them talking does not magically take away your ability to not talk.* The only thing this means is IF you SAY "I am remaining silent", than they have to stop questioning you.* That is*it.* Period.*

    God Bless

    I don't think I can make it easier than that.
    So it's alright for police to harass you for carrying your firearm until you actually invoke your rights at which time they must stop harassing you?

    I understand where your coming from, but it sounds an awful lot like 'background checks before purchasing a firearm are a good thing.' It's a "reasonable restriction." Anything that gives more power to the government and/or takes power from the people is a bad thing to my mind.
    Dude.

    This is talking about AFTER arrest is affected, when you're being QUESTIONED - as in, at the station.

    Nothing in this SCOTUS case has anything to do with interaction with officers before MIRANDA RIGHTS have been read.
    So you don't have any rights until you're arrested?

    The point is that this ruling removes responsibility from the police and places it on the people and that is not right. It's basically giving the police a free pass to violate your rights unless you specifically claim them.
    WTF.

    Of course you have rights before you're arrested.

    If you don't want to talk, you always have the right to shut your trap. Keep your trap shut.

    This ruling says if you want to BOTH A)Keep your trap shut and B) Shut the cops' traps then you must tell them to kindly shove it till your lawyer arrives. Otherwise the cops keep talking. You still haven't lost your right to shut your mouth.

    Why is this hard to understand?

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