Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Supreme Court Attacks Miranda: You Must Speak to Get the Right to Remain Silent

The Rightwing Supreme Court of America continues its assault on civil liberties. The High Court ruled that if you take the Miranda script seriously and remain silent, the cops can badger you for hours unless and until you speak about your desire to remain silent. Somebody better put that into the Miranda script quick before the SCOTUS changes it again. Before the ultra conservative Roberts Court is done, we'll be lucky if Miranda is still standing. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissent in the 5-4 decision:

"Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent – which counterintuitively, requires them to speak," she said. "At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded."