"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
This amendment is a tricky one because if there is the possibility that a person did commit a crime, logically you would want that person off the streets. But this criminal is protected by the 5th amendment. If the person is actually innocent it becomes even more of a trick bag. If the individual is weak, law enforcement may coerce the person into a false confession.
Let's Expand Fifth Amendment Rights
Terry L. Mitchell
September 25, 2009
Two days prior to his arrest for the murder of Yale medical Annie Le, Raymond Clark was picked up by the police, handcuffed, and detained for a while. Incidents like this, that take place on a daily basis, should be prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment comes close, but – like they say – no cigar. No person who is not an imminent threat to public safety should ever be physically detained or restrained by the police, without having first been charged with a crime.We need a new constitutional amendment to make sure this kind of thing never happens again. One should be able to sue for a billion dollars if he or she is arrested without having been charged. Think about it. How much power do you want the police and/or the courts to have? Sure, we want to give them all the authority they need in order to apprehend those who are charged with crimes. No one disputes that. However, do we really want officers of the law detaining people because they are considered "persons of interest"? Or because they happen to be acting weird or inappropriate at or near a crime scene? Where is the due process of law in all of that?Without this added protection, no one is safe. We are all in serious danger. Who among us has not behaved strangely or suspiciously at one time or another? As it stands now, police can arrest you just because they think you might have done something ... maybe. Or they can haul you off to hold you as a material witness. They don´t even need enough evidence to charge you. Why aren´t the supposed anti-big- government people screaming bloody murder about this kind of stuff the way they carry on at those "tea parties." Because many of them are disingenuous. They don´t like big government when it comes to taxes and spending, but they are okay with it when it overreaches in the name of law and order or "protecting the country." Shame on them and their hypocrisy!
Criminal Defense is very interesting to me, this fast talking attorney is someone I think I might want on my side if I ever decide to murder someone. The 5th amendment is a tool that I think the general public should be more aware of. Moral of the story... Keep your mouth shut!