Wednesday, October 19, 2016


You Have the Right to Remain Innocent

"[O]ne of the Fifth Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. ... [T]ruthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker's own mouth."

Source: Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17 (2001) (per curiam) as quoted in You Have the Right to Remain Innocent by James Duane (Little A, 2016) p. 63.

As Duane persuasively explains in his book, the 5th Amendment has steadily been hollowed-out with the support of Democrats and Republicans alike and he therefore advises readers: "Don't plead the fifth" but "Plead the sixth".

See also: "Innocent? Don't talk to the police" by James Duane in the Los Angeles Times (Aug. 26, 2015). 

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