The Right To Remain Silent

Wendy McElroy has this article on the right of every human being to remain silent when interacting with government police. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects your right to be free of self-incrimination. Many times, as Wendy McElroy notes, people succumb to anxiety, fear and confusion when placed in an uncomfortable situation involving police contact, and may say something without thinking first. That is why many attorneys advise people to not answer any questions when in a touchy situation involving government police. However, I believe that you are legally required to provide your name when asked, but in most states, I believe, you are not required to show your ID if you are not suspected of anything. The government police need a reason to suspect someone of something first. However, as I have noted before, last year the Supreme Court ruled that your silence could be used against you in court at a later time, regardless of your right to remain silent. But, the court also ruled in that same decision, as long as you specifically cite the constitutional source which protects your declared right to remain silent — that being the Fifth Amendment — then your silence can’t be held against you in court. Yes, citizen, the Supremes say that you must be knowledgeable of constitutional law, in order that your rights are protected.


7:33 am on August 25, 2014