Where "The Right to Remain Silent" Comes From
The first 10 Amendments to the US Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. In the USA, these rights are the core rights of every person living within the USA, citizen or not. The foundation for the "Right to Remain Silent" is found here.
The 5th Amendment
The right to remain silent is in regards to the constitutional right a person has not to self incriminate his or herself as stated in the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution. It reads "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." This amendment also has to do with a few other subjects like Due Process and Double Jeopardy.
The 5th Amendment was popularized in the term, "I plead the 5th," when Bill Clinton came before congress during his impeachment trial in 1998 for lying in front of a court of law.
The Miranda Rights or Warning was required by a ruling of the US Supreme Court in the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins because of an individual who was not aware of this right against self incrimination. To protect the rights of the individual and to ensure the police are not breaking the law, officers of the law now commonly say, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law," or something to that extent. What is interesting is that recently there were some cases were persons who had been arrested before for criminal actions claimed they were not read their rights, but the court ruled that since they were already aware of those rights, it was not necessary to re-inform them. Still, most law enforcement try to state this right just in case.
- US Constitution--Bill of Rights--The First Ten Amendments
Read the Bill of Rights yourself.
- Miranda warning - Wikipedia
- Impeachment of Bill Clinton - Wikipedia
© 2011 Brian Middleton