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Kiss your fifth amendment rights goodbye

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You do not have the right to remain silent.

Everything you are forced to say will be used against you.

You have no right to an attorney and have one present during questioning.

Do you understand that you have no rights as long as you live in the USA??


Supreme Court pares Miranda rights

Authorities can force the unwilling to speak, jurists say in 6-3 ruling.

Bee News Services

(Published Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 8:49 AM)

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court narrowed the historic right against self-incrimination Tuesday, ruling that police and government investigators can force an unwilling person to talk, as long as those admissions are not used to prosecute them.

The 6-3 opinion undercuts the well-known "Miranda warnings," in which officers tell suspects of their right to remain silent. It appears to allow more aggressive police questioning of reluctant witnesses in the hope of obtaining evidence. While a witness's words cannot be used against him in court, evidence can be.

Tuesday's decision also could prove useful to the government in the war on terrorism. The FBI agents who fanned out across the country after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington mostly wanted information, not criminal convictions.

Most immediately, however, the decision throws out part of a lawsuit brought on behalf of a gravely wounded farmworker in Oxnard who was questioned in a hospital emergency room by a police supervisor.

The officers who shot Oliverio Martinez in the face and back can be sued for using excessive force, and possibly for "outrageous conduct" at the hospital, the court said. But the justices ruled that the police supervisor who repeatedly questioned Martinez did not violate his Fifth Amendment rights in doing so.

Civil libertarians worried that the decision signals a retreat from the Miranda rulings of the past. Already, the court has agreed to hear three Miranda cases in the fall, one testing whether police can deliberately violate the right to remain silent.

"When the court handed down Miranda (in 1966), it set out clear lines. When you crossed the line, you violated the constitutional right," said Charles Weisselberg, a University of California, Berkeley law professor. "Now Miranda has become something else -- a rule of evidence, but not a constitutional right. I fear that means it will have less respect from police, judges and the criminal justice system."

Police advocates applauded the ruling.

"This is a good win for the law enforcement community," said Charles L. Hobson of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Sacramento. "It will be the rare case where an officer is ever held liable for questioning. This shows that Miranda is just about excluding evidence at a trial," he said, not about setting constitutional rules for questioning.

Since December, when the court took up the farm worker's case, the justices have been reconsidering the reach of the Miranda decision and the right against self-incrimination.

The Martinez case examined whether the Constitution protects a person when he is being questioned by police, or only later at a future trial. In past decades, the more liberal Supreme Court had said that suspects and witnesses had a right to remain silent. The 1966 decision in Miranda vs. Arizona held that police officers must tell people of their rights before questioning them.

Similarly, unwillingwitnesses called before investigating committees had the right to "plead the Fifth Amendment" and thereafter refuse to testify.

But in Tuesday's opinion, the court majority said that the Fifth Amendment comes into play only later, when a suspect is tried in court.

Despite a common perception, the Constitution does not bar police from using pressure -- short of torture -- to obtain information from suspects or witnesses, said Justice Clarence Thomas in the court's lead opinion.

"Mere compulsive questioning [does not] violate the Constitution," Thomas said.

He dismissed the view adopted by federal judges in California that "coercive police interrogations, absent the use of the involuntary statements in a criminal case, violates the Fifth Amendment's Self-Incrimination Clause."

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Sandra Day O'Connor agreed with Thomas. In a separate opinion, Justices David H. Souter and Stephen G. Breyer agreed that the "core guarantee" of the right against self-incrimination bars the use of compelled confessions in court.

However, in one sentence,they said "outrageous conduct by the police" still might violate a witness's constitutional right to "due process of law."

Three others justices who sided with the Oxnard farm worker -- Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony M. Kennedy -- agreed with Souter and Breyer that police can be sued for "outrageous conduct" during an investigation.

In a long dissent, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the court was abandoning a historic understanding of the Fifth Amendment.

"This is no small matter. To tell our whole legal system that, when conducting a criminal investigation, police officers can use severe compulsion, even torture, with no present violation of the right against compelled self-incrimination can only diminish a celebrated provision in the Bill of Rights," Kennedy wrote. "A Constitution survives over time because the people share a common, historic commitment to certain simple but fundamental principles which preserve their freedom. Today's decision undermines one of those respected precepts."

In a separate dissent that focused on the Martinez case, Stevens called the hospital questioning "the functional equivalent of an attempt to obtain an involuntary confession from a prisoner by torturous methods."

The fractured ruling left lawyers uncertain about what happens next in the Martinez case. His suit will return to a federal judge in Los Angeles, or possibly the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Los Angeles lawyer who sued the city of Oxnard on Martinez's behalf stressed that Tuesday's ruling does not affect the main claim that police violated his rights by shooting him.

"The excessive force claim is ready for trial," Samuel Paz said.

"I'm saddened they used this case to chip away at our Constitution."

Alan Wisotsky, Oxnard's lawyer, said the ruling vindicated the police department's major contention at this stage of the case.

"I said from the beginning there is no right to silence, and I think the court has confirmed that," he said. "The shooting itself was put on the back burner, but that's the real issue now. We think we have a strong case."

The two sides disagree on who was to blame for the shooting that left the then-29-year-old Martinez paralyzed.

(Optional add end)

It was dark on the evening of Nov. 28, 1997, when two Oxnard officers stopped to question a possible drug suspect near a row of small homes. From the opposite direction, Martinez rode up on his squeaky bike, heading toward his girlfriend's house.

When he approached, an officer called for him to halt. He did so, but when the officer grabbed for the field knife on his belt, a scuffle ensued.

"He's got my gun," the first officer called out. A second officer then fired five shots, hitting Martinez in the eyes and in his lower back. He was left blind and was paralyzed below the waist.

Minutes later, Sgt. Ben Chavez, the patrol supervisor, arrived and jumped into the ambulance. He hoped to get a statement from the dying man.

On the tape made in the emergency room, Martinez can be heard screaming in pain.

"What happened?" Chavez asked.

"The police shot me," Martinez replied. "I am dying!"

"Ok, yes, you are dying. But tell me why you are fighting with the police," Chavez continued. The interrogation continued off and on over 45 minutes.

Martinez survived and sued the Oxnard police for illegal arrest, excessive use of force and the coercive interrogation in the emergency room.

A federal judge in Los Angeles cleared the full case to go to trial.

Oxnard's lawyers challenged the claim against Chavez involving the emergency room questioning, but the 9th Circuit agreed Martinez's constitutional rights were violated. "No reasonable officer would believe that an interview of an individual receiving treatment for life-threatening injuries was constitutionally permissible," the appeals court said.

But the Supreme Court took up Oxnard's appeal, and the Bush administration joined the case on the city's side.

In Chavez vs. Martinez, the court reversed the 9th Circuit's ruling allowing the Oxnard police to be held liable for violating the Fifth Amendment.

But the appeals court will probably have to reconsider whether the emergency room questioning is a type of outrageous conduct that is unconstitutional.

The two sides might also settle the suit before it goes to trial.

In other cases Tuesday, the court:

Ruled 6-3 that the nearly 5 million people who work for state governments are protected under a federal law intended to ease work and family conflicts, a surprising departure from the conservative-leaning court's usual stance on states' rights cases.

The 6-3 ruling was all the more notable because its author was Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the main architect of the court's shift away from federal control.

The court majority preserved the broad protection Congress mandated in the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees workers will not lose their jobs if they take limited time off to deal withfor family emergencies.

The 1993 law was intended to apply to all but the smallest employers and most specialized jobs, and to guarantee the same rights to both male and female employees.

The rights of private-sector workers were not at issue in Tuesday's case, but supporters of the law said exempting state government workers would seriously undercut the law.

Ordered Florida courts to reconsider the sentence of a burglar who was sent to prison for life because he had a pocketknife in his trousers when he broke into a closed steakhouse.

Ruled that employer-sponsored compensation plans for disabled workers do not have to defer to the opinion of a worker's doctor when deciding whether the worker is eligible for benefits.

Said it will decide whether the U.S. Postal Service can be sued for antitrust violations over the way it handled contracts for mail sacks. A company claims the Postal Service is trying to create a monopoly in the mail sack business.

Agreed to clarify when air carriers can be blamed for passenger illnesses or deaths, using a case involving the death of an asthmatic passenger who was seated near the smoking section on an international flight.

Refused to consider whether some groups have a constitutional right to exclude women. Justices rejected an appeal from the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which was ordered by a Washington state court to open its membership in that state to women.

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with all due seriousness...that's pretty scary....and i can't believe there are people out there who still believe wholeheartedly in what this government is doing....we are among one of the most 10 corrupted gov'ts in the world, yet people still believe what america is doing around the world is right...that makes me sick........if the majority of the world isn't buying your shit, OBVIOUSLY it's not the truth........

if they start with this, what else are they going to take away....this world is just shit.....truly hell....

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Ok, quote you line by line I shant...way thorough of a post I'll give you that much.

Few points to ponder.

As far as micro and macro go with the economy, for this intention think of those theories in regards to the police, rights to be silent ..etc..

Realize, Even though the Martinez story, the Farmer story, etc. are all horrible and unjust...they are only two or three.

Even if you can cite 200 stories of unjust ( I know you can), you have to realize how insignificant (in the macro mindset) it is as a country.

Corrupted police fucking disgust me, more then you could even fathom.

The same time, I respect and give credit for every other policeman that isnt.\

As far as the laws, you are talking about three to four paragraphs of specific details alone.

I couldnt even begin to guess how many pages of laws, both federal and state, do exist.

A shitload.

As far as bringing up morals and such, ok, I agree...once again COrrupted cops suck, and should NOT get away with this shit.

But do not attack the entire system.

As far as the system...it is NOT perfect.

The same time (modestly speaking) I think its for certain the best. Of course there are kinks and such but think about it..you cant please everyone.

4 friends going out to see a movie on a friday night,

1 friend likes comedies

1 friend drama

1 friend scary movies..

1 and another animated cartoon type of movies..

A discussion to figuire out an agreement of which flick to make all of them happy (if you lucky) would probably take at least 15 minutes.

WIth one movie choice....and 4 people..

now to put the hypothetical to a larger scale in regards to my point.

millions and millions of people...

and millions of movie choices...

Although semi-rudimental of an example, you get my drift?

So do me this..if you may..

Hug a cop....(ask permission first..lol)

Forget the details of bullshit (if you can change something...change it...if you cant...dont bitch)

And lastly if it bothers you how people caught by the cops are treated..dont be cuaght, dont do anything illegal..

Your worried about getting "wrongfully" shot by the police..well..when you wear a boot knife and an officer goes to get it from you....dont fucking resist and scuffle...secondly dont grab his fucking gun....ummm can I get a Um DUH...??

And finally the last thing Ill say in this particular post..

If you are going to reply or critique my comments... Dont be fucking retawded...be straightforward and realistic and Ill give a rebuttle...even though I gabbed alot here, I really do not have time for insignificant explanations....well more then this...lol.


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