Wednesday, June 02, 2010

You Have the Right to Remain Stupid

We're heading into summer and that means Supreme Court decisions - YAY!  I love Con Law.  Of course there are the obligatory stupid or almost-stupid rulings every year.  Here's an almost-stupid one - only one judge away from a stupid decision, via WaPo

In the case about Miranda rights, suspect Van Chester Thompkins remained mostly silent for three hours of interrogation after reading and being told of his rights to remain silent and have an attorney. ... When asked, “Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?” Thompkins looked away and answered, “Yes.”

The statement was used against him, and Thompkins was convicted of killing Samuel Morris outside a strip mall in Southfield, Mich.

Um...which part of "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" is unclear to FOUR of our Supreme Court Justices?!  Justice Kennedy gives the obvious response:

“If Thompkins wanted to remain silent, he could have said nothing in response to (the detective’s) questions, or he could have unambiguously involved his Miranda rights and ended the interrogation,” wrote Kennedy ...

Well, DUH! Somehow Justice Sotomayor fails to grasp this simple concept:

“Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down,” wrote Sotomayor. “Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent, which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak.”

No, actually, all they have to do is NOT SPEAK.  And by the way, the 5th Amendment has to be unambiguously invoked and spoken, does Sotomayor have a problem with that, too? 

Counterintuitively, Sotomayor wants the reading of Miranda rights to mean that anything said following the reading of the rights is inadmissible in a court of law. 

I don't know why criminals still have trouble with Miranda anyway, haven't they ever seen an episode of Law & Order? Geez, shut up, get a good lawyer, and hope to go before judges like Sotomayor.

Related posts that eviscerate liberals on the Supreme Court:


Supreme Idiot

What does empathy have to do with the Supreme Court?

Liberal Change the NYT Can Believe In

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