Pelosi: Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Protects Americans Against Unfair and Abusive Practices of Credit Companies PR Newswire Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Supreme Court May Hear Fifth Amendment Case Involving Small-Business Development U.S. News & World Report
Racing Past the Constitution The Washington Post Take a look at an interesting article we found.
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April 27, 2009
The Kefauver Committee and McCarthy hearings made it part of our national vocabulary.
These familiar words are the bedrock of our legal system.
"On advice of counsel, I plead the Fifth.”
The Fifth Amendment is longer than other amendments covered in our look at the Ten Amendments, added to the Constitution through the Bill of Rights, but it’s worth examining.
Even on a Monday.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a 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.
Simply put, The Fifth Amendment is the legal means for a citizen to say to their tormentor, "Get off my back and get your evidence somewhere other than from my own lips."
It was created in reaction to the excesses of the English Court of Star Chamber. It was there, until the mid 1600s, that prosecutors did not bear the burden of proving a case, and that sufficient "proof" came from browbeating confessions out of the accused.
And our Founding Fathers wanted to make sure it wouldn't happen here.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the Fifth Amendment to also apply to criminal and pretrial proceedings in criminal matters, including police-station interrogations by invoking the Miranda Law.
Recently, a federal judge upheld the right of Pulitzer Prize-winning Detroit newspaper reporter David Ashenfelter to raise the Fifth Amendment and refuse to reveal his sources in a story about a failed terrorism prosecution.
But it was touch and go for a while.
Some think this Amendment is outdated and that it interferes with legitimate investigations.
Thomas Jefferson said:
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive. “
Even if it means the bad guys win, once in a while.
How do you plead?
The Kefauver Committee and Organized Crime encyclopedia.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Constitution of the United States law.emory.edu Take a look at an interesting article we found.
The Founding Fathers foundingfathers.info/ Take a look at an interesting article we found.
What comes closest to your opinion of our legal system?