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Posted: 5/27/2003 6:48:38 PM EDT
[url]http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/5954295.htm[/url] Supreme Court further dilutes Miranda protections BY STEPHEN HENDERSON Knight Ridder Newspapers WASHINGTON - (KRT) - A splintered Supreme Court took another swipe at the landmark Miranda ruling Tuesday, saying the right to remain silent doesn't apply when authorities aggressively - or even coercively - interrogate someone they're not prosecuting, Oliverio Martinez thought he was dying in 1997 after an Oxnard, Calif., police officer shot him five times in the face, legs and back. He begged another officer to stop questioning him as he waited for medical treatment. A four-justice plurality said the officer's refusal to stop didn't violate Martinez's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, because he was never charged with a crime. But a majority of the court said the relentless questioning of Martinez under the circumstances could have violated his 14th Amendment rights to due process, because it could be compared to torturing him. The case was sent back to lower courts to consider that question. The ruling inspired both praise and criticism from lawyers for Martinez and the American Civil Liberties Union, who said the hope for a favorable outcome on the 14th Amendment issue in lower courts was a silver lining in the court's cloudy decision. Martinez, who was left blind and paralyzed, is suing the Oxnard police for damages. Alan Wisotsky, an attorney for Oxnard and the police officer who interrogated Martinez, said the court's ruling was a victory for persistent police work. "If someone had kidnapped your child, wouldn't you want police doing everything they possibly could to get information from someone who had it?" he asked hypothetically. Some constitutional scholars said the decision was a clear dilution of Miranda rights, under which law enforcement officers for years have warned suspects that they have the right to remain silent. Miranda, said Mary Cheh, a law professor at George Washington University, "has been scaled back to such an itty-bitty little protection that you begin to wonder whether it's worth it." Cheh said that to prove a 14th Amendment violation, Martinez would have to show that his treatment was so cruel as to "shock the conscience" of the court. In Tuesday's opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas denied that police conduct was egregious, saying it served a "justifiable government interest." He was joined by Justice Antonin Scalia in that part of his opinion, but several others disagreed to varying degrees. Only Justice John Paul Stevens included strong language in his opinion denouncing police conduct. "Unfortunately, courts have generally said the police have to go really, really far before they reach that level," Cheh said. Tuesday's ruling came after a series of Supreme Court decisions narrowing Miranda rights and as the court prepares to undertake a more comprehensive review of Miranda requirements later this year. The justices will decide in the fall when - and even whether - Miranda violations by police require evidence to be tossed out. Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the ACLU of Southern California, said those cases would have a bigger impact in determining Miranda's future. "We need the Supreme Court to say if this is a constitutional right, it has to have some meaning," Wizner said. "The issue that really is of primary concern to the ACLU is deliberate noncompliance with Miranda by police." Wizner said many police departments talked explicitly with their officers about ways to engage in questioning outside the purview of Miranda, and that lower courts increasingly were sanctioning that behavior.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 6:57:04 PM EDT
"If someone had kidnapped your child, wouldn't you want police doing everything they possibly could to get information from someone who had it?" he asked hypothetically.
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That is a scary logical progression Mr. Wisotsky is pushing.
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 7:01:10 PM EDT
Anybody that rats on themself is an idiot anyway. I don't need a cop to tell me that I don't have to talk to anybody. Hell, I don't even have to be a criminal not to talk, just catch me on a bad day...
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 7:13:23 PM EDT
I don't need a cop to tell me that I don't have to talk to anybody.
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Actually I recall that Scalia has said that he believes that this is a FALSE view of what the 5th Amendment says. In other words he has said that you do not 'have a right to remain silent', that it just means that what you say cannot be used against you in a trial. But that you cannot 'keep quiet' to protect others, or to hinder law enforcement.
No person ... shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself
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Link Posted: 5/27/2003 7:17:18 PM EDT
Miranda Shmiranda just like Ponyboy just said. I don't need a nyone to tell me to STFU if a cop is asking me pointed questions. What the fuck can he do if I don't answer him? [size=5][red][b]NOTHING,THAT'S WHAT THE FUCK HE CAN DO! I'v been down this road and been detained because I wouldn't answer a cops stupid questions like "where are you going and where have you been?[/b][/red][/size=5]
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 7:20:34 PM EDT
Miranda was a big mistake. There's no reason to "remind" people of their Constitutionally-protected rights when being arrested. None at all. That requirement is NOT in the Constitution! The consequences for being ignorant of your own rights should be a natural process for "weeding-out" the dimwits in society. Requiring that police first read you your rights when being arrested is like requiring that voters first read the Constitution just before going into the voting booth. Hey, on second thought... [thinking]
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 8:20:08 PM EDT
If I recall correctly, the reporter has omitted some important info. My understanding is that the subject was shot by a LEO that he had attacked. He later admitted under constant questioning that he had attacked the officer. He is now suing the PD because of his injuries and is apparently claiming he didn’t attack the LEO. He’s trying to keep his admission out of court since that shows otherwise. In other words, he’s trying to frame an innocent person (the LEO that he attacked) in order to enrich himself.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 8:11:37 AM EDT
Typical progression of a police state.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 8:18:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 8:20:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CassidyGT: Typical progression of a police state.
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Actually it's more like the dismantling of the Govt-nanny state.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 8:22:01 AM EDT
Ok guys, Point, the first: If the Liberal red diaper doper babies who write that paper are pissed off about it, it means that they're also distorting what happened and what the issues are. Point, the second: Law professor (and 2nd amendment supporter/expert) Eugine Volokh had a good post on this case the other day. Its [url=http://volokh.com/2003_05_25_volokh_archive.html#200345250]here[/url] He says:
Chavez v. Martinez: The Supreme Court just decided Chavez v. Martinez, a case I blogged about a bit last year. The main issue is this: Say the government interrogates someone in violation of Miranda, or the Sixth Amendment rule against interrogating someone who has been arraigned and asked for a lawyer at the arraignment, or the Fifth Amendment right not to be subject to coercive interrogation. (Let's set aside for now the case of plain physical torture, which might be somewhat different.) It's clear that a confession gotten this way is inadmissible at the subject's trial; the same is true even of evidence that is gathered indirectly as a result of the suspect's confession. But does the actual getting of the confession itself violate the Constitution? Are these rights only rights not to be convicted based on evidence gathered in certain ways, or rights to be free of these evidence-gathering methods in the first place? Are they rights that focus only on the fairness (beyond merely the truth-finding aspect) of the trial process, or are they rights that focus on the propriety of police questioning as such? This, it turns out, is very important. It's one thing to say "If you question the guy this way, you might not be able to use the results to convict him" -- it's another to say "You can't question the guy this way at all, and if you do you're acting unconstitutionally." (Perhaps either legal rule is just wrong where terrorism is concerned, but they are different.) So the main Chavez question was: May the government lawfully use certainly potentially coercive methods (but again ones that stop short of physical torture, which is a separate, though important, question) in the civilian justice process, so long as it's willing not to use the results in the questioned person's trial? Or is even the questioning itself unconstitutional? If the answer is the latter, then it looks like Miranda and the other rules could be very substantial barriers to using the civil justice system to deal with terrorism -- and military detention thus becomes a comparatively more powerful tool. If the answer is the former, then the marginal drawbacks of the civil justice system, and the marginal advantage of the military system, decrease. In any event, the Court just resolved the question: (1) A Miranda violation is not per se a constitutional violation, so long as the evidence is not itself used against them in a criminal proceeding. On this, the vote was pretty much 8 to either 0 or 1 (Justice GInsburg didn't join any of the opinions that so held, though her opinion didn't squarely hold the opposite). (2) More importantly, there is generally no Self-Incrimination Clause violation if the compelled incriminatory statement isn't used against them in a criminal proceeding, even if there was actual evidence of compulsion (short of torture and other extreme physical abuse, see item 3 below), and not just a Miranda violation. (People can still assert the privilege against self-incrimination before trial, in order to prevent the possibility that they'll say something that can be used against them; but if they're still compelled to testify, the Clause isn't violated unless the evidence is actually used against them.) On this, the vote was 6-3 (Rehnquist, O'Connor, Scalia, Souter, Thomas, and Breyer in the majority, Stevens, Kennedy, and Ginsburg dissenting). Justices Souter and Breyer suggested that in some situations, the rule might possibly be different, but as a general matter he agreed with the position with which I started this paragraph. (3) The Court did not decide what I called the "separate, though important, question" whether this interrogation wasn't just a Miranda violation or otherwise coercive, but went further and violated the Due Process Clause. The Due Process Clause, the Court had earlier held, is violated when the police use tactics that aren't merely coercive but "shock the conscience," such as physical torture or other sorts of abuse. This is obviously a pretty vague standard, and the Court split 3-3-3: Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas concluded that there was no Due Process Clause violation here, Stevens, Kennedy, and Ginsburg concluded that there was one, and O'Connor, Souter, and Breyer expressed no opinion and would leave the matter for the Ninth Circuit to resolve on remand. (Souter and Breyer said this explicitly, and O'Connor, I think, implicitly took this view by not joining any opinion that took a position on the substantive due process question.) Martinez, the plaintiff here, had been questioned while he was in pain and thought he was dying. Those who saw no substantive due process violation argued that the questioner (Chavez) didn't interfere with Martinez's medical treatment, and that the police hadn't inflicted the pain in order to get any information from Martinez. Those who did see a substantive due process violation argued that, despite this, Chavez "made no effort to dispel the perception" -- though it was an inaccurate perception -- "that medical treatment was being withheld until Martinez answered the questions put to him." It'll now be up to the Ninth Circuit to decide on one or the other position.
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Link Posted: 5/28/2003 8:29:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 199: My understanding is that the subject was shot by a LEO that he had attacked. He later admitted under constant questioning that he had attacked the officer.
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Why was he not charged then?
an Oxnard, Calif., police officer shot him five times in the face, legs and back.
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All those bullets and no charges? Scott
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 8:52:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Scottman:
Originally Posted By 199: My understanding is that the subject was shot by a LEO that he had attacked. He later admitted under constant questioning that he had attacked the officer.
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Why was he not charged then?
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He wasn't charged, IIRC, precisely BECAUSE of the possible "grey area" of events surrounding how police obtained the facts that Martinez did indeed attack the officer first. Presumably, the prosecutors didn't want to risk going into a trial that had a likelihood of being overturned because crucial information was obtained in this manner.
Link Posted: 5/28/2003 5:54:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CassidyGT: Typical progression of a police state.
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I guess we also lived in a police state before Miranda invented the right to remain silent. Thereafter, we didn't (we'll call that a "criminal state"). Now, you say say we are "progressing" [back] into a police state? this is typical?
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