No Right to Silence?

Earlier this month the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Salinas v. Texas, 570 U.S. ___ (2013).  Before Salinas was arrested, police asked him a few questions.  In response to one particular question, he remained silent and said nothing; he argued that this was his way of exercising his 5th Amendment right to remain silent.  At trial, however, the prosecutor made reference to his silence, implying his guilty to the jury, and Salinas was obviously convicted.

The Supreme Court held that there was nothing wrong with using Salinas’s silence against him.  In reaching this conclusion, the Court said that there is no right to silence; rather, there is only the right against self-incrimination.  However, the court found that Salinas did not properly invoke his 5th Amendment right and, therefore, his silence was not protected.

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