Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Supreme Court channels Orwell: You must speak in order to remain silent

It's so ludicrous you actually have to laugh.

    Detroit Free Press -

    Silence isn't golden, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a Southfield murder case, if you don't speak up for your constitutional right to clam up.

    In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that if a suspect has been read and understands his or her Miranda rights, police can interrogate him or her indefinitely, unless the suspect tells them outright that he or she is not talking to them.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing a dissent, said the decision "turns Miranda upside down," referring to the procedure that requires police to inform suspects of their rights. At the University of Michigan Law School, criminal law expert Eve Brensike Primus said it "shifts the balance of power in the interrogation room."

    Police, though, said they believe the court got it right: Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said law enforcement should be able to keep questioning a suspect who neither talks nor claims outright his or her right to remain silent. If the suspect wants to end the interview, he or she can say so.

    Others say that extended interrogation could crack a suspect who doesn't want to talk.

Read all of it.