In the 1760s English jurist William Blackstone in Commentaries on the Laws of England stated, “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
That statement sums up one of the pinnacle principles of a truly free society but, like the right of Habeas Corpus, made “quaint” by right-wingers as the activist judges on the Supreme Court weaken Miranda rights yet again.
Huffington Post reported:
“In a narrowly split decision, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority expanded its limits on the famous Miranda rights for criminal suspects on Tuesday – over the dissent of new Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said the ruling turned Americans’ rights of protection from police abuse “upside down.”
…A right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer are at the top of the warnings that police recite to suspects during arrests and interrogations. But Tuesday’s majority said that suspects must break their silence and tell police they are going to remain quiet to stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.
…This decision means that police can keep shooting questions at a suspect who refuses to talk as long as they want in hopes that the person will crack and give them some information, said Richard Friedman, a University of Michigan law professor.
“This is the third time this session that the Supreme Court has placed limits on Miranda rights, which come from a 1966 decision – it involved police questioning of Ernesto Miranda in a rape and kidnapping case in Phoenix – requiring officers to tell suspects they have the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer represent them, even if they can’t afford one.
Earlier this term, the high court ruled that a suspect’s request for a lawyer is good for only 14 days after the person is released from police custody – the first time the court has placed a time limit on a request for a lawyer – and that police do not have to explicitly tell suspects they have a right to a lawyer during an interrogation.
Charles Weissberg wrote in “Elena Kagan and the Death of Miranda“:
“The majority said that if officers give Miranda warnings to a suspect, they may begin questioning and continue to question unless the person clearly and unambiguously says he wants to remain silent or wants a lawyer. Police do not have to expressly ask a suspect to waive their rights. If the person shows incredible stamina — like Thompkins — and manages to remain silent through hours of intense interrogation, he will have “waived” his rights if he eventually caves in to pressure.
And the Court has placed a substantial burden on suspects to invoke their rights with great precision. A number of lower courts applying the clear and unambiguous standard have been quite demanding, finding that statements such as “I think it’s about time for me to stop talking” and “I think I would like to talk to a lawyer” are not clear invocations of the right to remain silent or the right to counsel.”
I have a question for you right-wing freaks who troll this site….
Has there ever been one thing implemented by a Republican to specifically benefit the proverbial “little guy” at the expense of the powerful?
Although they profess to champion “The People”, normal people (non-Republicans) know that the true Republican constituents are the powerful elite who are actively waging a class war against the uppity middle class – and the death of Miranda is just another tool in their arsenal.
Whenever Republicans get their boney fingers around the neck of power, they use their positions to whittle away at the constitutional protections their idiot teabagging dupes think only apply to making sure people can go to a doctor if they get sick but is actually hard-one legal protection “We The People” of past generations wrested from the grip of the powerful elite- sometimes paying the price of blood.
The Republican *cough* leadership *cough* know that their policies and agenda hold nothing for the majority of people they pretend to represent. To mask this fact, they employ a cocktail of tried and true dirty tricks – shamelessly taking pages out of the playbook of previous fascist regimes. This includes, not only the old standard of dividing the people with “social issues” to distract from their true economic royalist agenda and creating an enemy of which to be perpetually afraid, but also installing relatively young, true-believers, into lifetime judicial appointments. This is calculatingly so they can legislate from the bench and break down any Constitutional barriers of protection the real “little guy” may have against the powerful. Of course, all while their propaganda outlets scream about how your shrinking protections are actually “freedom” and “security.”
Frankly, this is another example of why the breaking back of “little guy” cannot withstand the weight of another Corporatist, Conservative President, but I fear that with the Supreme Court ruling that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, democracy itself is just as “quaint.”
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