I Had No Idea The Fifth Amendment Was This Important

I guess this was boingboinged but I saw it on Crimesift — videos of a law professor and a cop discussing the reasons never, ever to talk to police. For any reason. I had no idea. The Fifth Amendment isn’t a last resort if you’re guilty. It’s a basic operating procedure if you want to minimize your chances of being wrongly convicted if you’re innocent. Not because police are evil or anything like that, but because there is no way to be sure you’re not breaking a law at any given time, and because the system is set up such that there’s no way anything you say to the police can possibly help you (it can be disqualified as hearsay by the prosecutor, no matter how useful it would be to you) and there’s about a dozen ways that it can hurt you.

The videos are long but worth watching. After the defense attorney speaks, the cop gets up and affirms everything the defense attorney has said, with the qualification that while he is willing to lie, mislead, and manipulate people into confessing, he will not have someone in the “interview” room in the first place unless he honestly believes they’re guilty. Of course, if that’s true, then you should assume if you’re being interviewed by the police that they probably already honestly believe you’re guilty of something, wrongly… which means it’s best to shut the hell up, for the reasons given in the previous video by the defense attorney.

Yow. Eye-opening.

1 thought on “I Had No Idea The Fifth Amendment Was This Important”

  1. I’ve seen a similar video, I think put out by the ACLU, that talks about how to handle traffic stops and allowing cops in your home. I’ll have to watch this one tonight, looks interesting.


Comments are closed.