Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New rule for police interactions: Ramble on about the weather

The Supreme Court did what we all were expecting in Salinas.

They decided that you have to say "I'm remaining silent" to invoke the Fifth if there's no custodial interrogation.  The gruesome twosome wanted silence even with Miranda to be ruled on and allowed as evidence at trial.

This is the result of fantastic mental gymnastics.  If the Constitution does not allow a person to be compelled to be a witness against themselves, then this ruling makes no sense, as the government's question compelled a response, here, silence.  So what Scalia and Thomas are insisting on is that the 5th be read to only mean in the court, even though no police existed at the time the amendment was written, and so their "founders" are really no use to answer the question, unless you acknowledge the broader principle- that the government cannot compel a person to be a witness against themselves- and knowing full well that what is said to a cop will be used later in court, YOU CAN'T SCREW WITH PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE A COP.

Then you have the other three conservatives who simply recall their promise to law enforcement to destroy Miranda, and not realizing that this particular scenario in reality has nothing whatsoever to do with Miranda as a prophylactic but it quite simply the constitutional right being called into play.

And of course what this will lead to is a sudden jump in trainings for cops and prosecutors called "how to get people to shut up, and then convict them for it."

It's easy!  Badger them a bunch.  When they get frustrated and stop talking- WIN.  The prosecutor can proudly march in and say, this guy was not willing to say whether or not he did X.

In the fact of everything going on right now, the conservatives on the court apparently aren't getting the message that the current party is supposed to be anti-government.  But then, I never know with conservatives.  How the hell does anyone think they can be anti-government but pro-cop?

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