• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • The forum will be down for about an hour this weekend for maintenance. I apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

Being Silent is Guilty

papa bear

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
2,224
Location
mayberry, nc
i think i did see this discussed one time on this forum before. but i couldn't find it

but here goes. a recent ruling has made being silent, a admittance to being guilty. so if you are asked if you did something, and you remain silent, it will be issued in court that you were silent, and YOU can be convicted of what ever they want

i have a big problem with this, and i believe it is totally wrong.

http://www.usacarry.com/miranda-right-silence-trouble/?utm_source=USA+Carry&utm_campaign=79b3a6a05a-Your+Miranda+Right+to+Silence+Might+Now+Get+You&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2bd92c16fa-79b3a6a05a-48909189

i would like to know what you all think of it
 

Black_water

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2013
Messages
125
Location
On The Border in AZ
Seems you have to tell the cops you have a right to remain silent in order to have the right.

Seems like more complication if you ask me. If I have a right to something, it's mine, whether I say I want it or not.
 

Fallschirjmäger

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
3,826
Location
Cumming, Georgia, USA
Here is a summary of the facts of the Salinas v. Texas case. Police in Houston, Texas questioned Genovevo Salinas during a murder investigation. Salinas answered all of their questions until the police asked whether he thought that casings found at the murder scene would match the shotgun the police found in his house. In response, Salinas remained silent. He looked down at the floor, shuffled his feet, bit his bottom lip, clenched his hands in his lap, and began to tighten up. After a few moments of silence, the officer asked additional questions, which Salinas answered. Later, he was charged with murder, tried, and convicted partially on the basis of evidence that he had remained silent during police questioning before he was arrested and given his Miranda warnings.
This is one of those 'totality of the circumstances' things. In this case,I don't see anything wrong with the Court's decision.
Mr Salinas answered questions freely until the question might have implicated him.
Mr Salinas refused to answer that question.
Mr Salinas' physical reactions to that question were noted.
Mr Salinas answered other following questions.

In Court, Mr Salinas' actions when questioned were presented. It's not unreasonable that a man who suddenly and inexplicably refuses to answer questions that might point to his guilt might be of guilty conscience. It's not that he remained silent, but that he suddenly changed from cooperative to silent on specific questions.

You are free not to answer any particular question, or any questions at all, but until the police have been put on notice that you wish to remain silent, they aren't required to take notice of your silence and may continue to ask.



What's the old adage, "Silence gives consent"?, if you don't say that you won't answer questions they are free to assume that you don't mind them asking even if they don't get answers.
 
Last edited:

SFCRetired

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
Messages
1,752
Location
Montgomery, Alabama, USA
What have we said here so many times and in so many different threads?

Invoke your right to remain silent and not answer any questions without the presence of your lawyer. Once you have invoked that right, shut up!

There is something about the human animal, and that subspecies, the American human animal, that feels the necessity to fill an absolutely perfect silence with something. Watch different people who are having a conversation. The moment silence falls, someone is going to feel moved to fill that void. Police, and, indeed, any professional interrogator, to include psychiatrists, are trained to exploit that weakness.

What you, the subject of interrogation, must do after having invoked your rights and clammed up, is to exercise more patience than your interrogator. Yes, it is both a contest of will and a war of nerves. Winning both is definitely to your advantage.
 

davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,170
Location
earth's crust
What have we said here so many times and in so many different threads?

Invoke your right to remain silent and not answer any questions without the presence of your lawyer. Once you have invoked that right, shut up!

There is something about the human animal, and that subspecies, the American human animal, that feels the necessity to fill an absolutely perfect silence with something. Watch different people who are having a conversation. The moment silence falls, someone is going to feel moved to fill that void. Police, and, indeed, any professional interrogator, to include psychiatrists, are trained to exploit that weakness.

What you, the subject of interrogation, must do after having invoked your rights and clammed up, is to exercise more patience than your interrogator. Yes, it is both a contest of will and a war of nerves. Winning both is definitely to your advantage.
That's right ...

Otherwise they'll keep on asking your questions ... and replying with "your mother!" to every question gets old
 

Primus

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
3,939
Location
United States
This is one of those 'totality of the circumstances' things. In this case,I don't see anything wrong with the Court's decision.
Mr Salinas answered questions freely until the question might have implicated him.
Mr Salinas refused to answer that question.
Mr Salinas' physical reactions to that question were noted.
Mr Salinas answered other following questions.

In Court, Mr Salinas' actions when questioned were presented. It's not unreasonable that a man who suddenly and inexplicably refuses to answer questions that might point to his guilt might be of guilty conscience. It's not that he remained silent, but that he suddenly changed from cooperative to silent on specific questions.

You are free not to answer any particular question, or any questions at all, but until the police have been put on notice that you wish to remain silent, they aren't required to take notice of your silence and may continue to ask.



What's the old adage, "Silence gives consent"?, if you don't say that you won't answer questions they are free to assume that you don't mind them asking even if they don't get answers.
Well put. +1

This is another take a small piece (he was silent) leave out a big piece (that he was answering everything else and that he had PHYSICAL REACTIONS to questions) then shove it out and make it seem bad.
 

Citizen

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
18,280
Location
Fairfax Co., VA
This is one of those 'totality of the circumstances' things. In this case,I don't see anything wrong with the Court's decision.
Mr Salinas answered questions freely until the question might have implicated him.
Mr Salinas refused to answer that question.
Mr Salinas' physical reactions to that question were noted.
Mr Salinas answered other following questions.

In Court, Mr Salinas' actions when questioned were presented. It's not unreasonable that a man who suddenly and inexplicably refuses to answer questions that might point to his guilt might be of guilty conscience. It's not that he remained silent, but that he suddenly changed from cooperative to silent on specific questions.

You are free not to answer any particular question, or any questions at all, but until the police have been put on notice that you wish to remain silent, they aren't required to take notice of your silence and may continue to ask.



What's the old adage, "Silence gives consent"?, if you don't say that you won't answer questions they are free to assume that you don't mind them asking even if they don't get answers.
Dare we allow government to take back that ground?

It took almost six hundred years from the Norman Conquest to recognition of the right against self-incimination. Along the way, people were burned, hanged, pilloried, dispossessed of property, and exiled.

In Tudor England*, when government suspected a person of religious non-conformity, he was examined ex officio. Meaning, church officials came "out" of their "office" as church officials, and became interrogators. The suspect was required to swear the oath ex officio--to tell the truth to every question before knowing what the questioning was even going to be about. Oaths were taken a lot more seriously then, and for some, lying under oath meant damnation. Here's where the history connects: if a person refused the oath, he was convicted on the spot pro confesso. That is to say, as if he had confessed. The rationale: if he was innocent, he should have no reservations about answering questions truthfully.

Its only one short step back to silence being considered guilt, conviction pro confesso.

In our country today, there are already tons of people who think the 5th Amendment is a refuge for the guilty. They do not know skillful questioning and twisted answers can be used to distort and present the apparency of guilty; it never even crosses their mind.

Dare we let government take back a piece of the ground that was purchased very dearly indeed, literally with blood and treasure?


Note: Recognition of the right by government in England didn't happen until about 1650 between Charles I and Charles II. Even today we get weasel decisions out of our courts. For example, there is a court case floating around somewhere that says the right against self-incrimination is a "fighting right", meaning the suspect has to invoke it. Yeah, suuuure. Only because government refused to recognize it more fully. Government only conceded as much as it had to, nothing more. It is a "fighting right" because government made it so, rather than just respect it even when the suspect doesn't "fight" with it.

For comparison and perspective, consider ancient Hebrew courts where nothing--nothing!--said by the suspect could be used in evidence against him. There was no weaseling around about whether the suspect had been properly Mirandized, or had answered some questions and then stopped. Flat out, front to back, nothing the suspect said could be used against him. Period. No loopholes for prosecutors or cops to exploit and chisel away at everybody's rights after that. Nothing the suspect said could be used against him. The courts would not allow it. How's that for government recognition of a right?

Most of the history I've given in this post comes from a Pulitzer Prize winning book by Leonard Levy, Origins of the Fifth Amendment, the Right Against Self-Incrimination.
 
Last edited:

georg jetson

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
2,412
Location
Slidell, Louisiana
Dare we allow government to take back that ground?

It took almost six hundred years from the Norman Conquest to recognition of the right against self-incimination. Along the way, people were burned, hanged, pilloried, dispossessed of property, and exiled.

In Tudor England*, when government suspected a person of religious non-conformity, he was examined ex officio. Meaning, church officials came "out" of their "office" as church officials, and became interrogators. The suspect was required to swear the oath ex officio--to tell the truth to every question before knowing what the questioning was even going to be about. Oaths were taken a lot more seriously then, and for some, lying under oath meant damnation. Here's where the history connects: if a person refused the oath, he was convicted on the spot pro confesso. That is to say, as if he had confessed. The rationale: if he was innocent, he should have no reservations about answering questions truthfully.

Its only one short step back to silence being considered guilt, conviction pro confesso.

In our country today, there are already tons of people who think the 5th Amendment is a refuge for the guilty. They do not know skillful questioning and twisted answers can be used to distort and present the apparency of guilty; it never even crosses their mind.


Dare we let government take back a piece of the ground that was purchased very dearly indeed, literally with blood and treasure?


Note: Recognition of the right by government in England didn't happen until about 1650 between Charles I and Charles II. Even today we get weasel decisions out of our courts. For example, there is a court case floating around somewhere that says the right against self-incrimination is a "fighting right", meaning the suspect has to invoke it. Yeah, suuuure. Only because government refused to recognize it more fully. Government only conceded as much as it had to, nothing more. It is a "fighting right" because government made it so, rather than just respect it even when the suspect doesn't "fight" with it.

For comparison and perspective, consider ancient Hebrew courts where nothing--nothing!--said by the suspect could be used in evidence against him. There was no weaseling around about whether the suspect had been properly Mirandized, or had answered some questions and then stopped. Flat out, front to back, nothing the suspect said could be used against him. Period. No loopholes for prosecutors or cops to exploit and chisel away at everybody's rights after that. Nothing the suspect said could be used against him. The courts would not allow it. How's that for government recognition of a right?

Most of the history I've given in this post comes from a Pulitzer Prize winning book by Leonard Levy, Origins of the Fifth Amendment, the Right Against Self-Incrimination.
+1 and thank you Citizen for putting things in historial context.
 

Fallschirjmäger

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
3,826
Location
Cumming, Georgia, USA
I can't lay my hands on it at the moment, and it's probably lost to history, but there is/was an European country where one did not have to invoke the right to remain silent; it was assumed that one wished to be so and the police were not allowed to question anyone they had formally accused of a crime, (to my best recollection of the facts, take all that with a grain of salt as I can't say what country it may have been.)

For all I know, it may have been ancient Mesopotamia, but I'm sure I read of it somewhere (not that it's applicable in the US.)
 
Last edited:

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
11,942
Location
White Oak Plantation
I keep one of those small Navy memo books in my shirt pocket and on the first page, it reads, "I want a lawyer." Fortunately I have yet to use my notebook. I have been contacted by a cop, twice, and I smiled, listened, observed, and then proceeded as the cop's tone and tenor dictated. the cop's in my little town are professional and well trained. I like my little town's cop shop, good people.
 

KYGlockster

Activist Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2010
Messages
1,842
Location
Ashland, KY
i think i did see this discussed one time on this forum before. but i couldn't find it

but here goes. a recent ruling has made being silent, a admittance to being guilty. so if you are asked if you did something, and you remain silent, it will be issued in court that you were silent, and YOU can be convicted of what ever they want

i have a big problem with this, and i believe it is totally wrong.

http://www.usacarry.com/miranda-right-silence-trouble/?utm_source=USA+Carry&utm_campaign=79b3a6a05a-Your+Miranda+Right+to+Silence+Might+Now+Get+You&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2bd92c16fa-79b3a6a05a-48909189

i would like to know what you all think of it
Once you have been Mirandized, if you remain silent after that, then the fact that you remained silent can not be admitted in court. Now if you remain silent before being read your Miranda Rights, then the fact that you failed to answer any questions can be admitted as evidence. But as one poster already mentioned, it all boils down to the totality of the circumstances. Simply being silent is not enough to get you convicted for anything. If you explicitly invoke your right to remain silent, even before being Mirandized, then again, this can not be admitted at trial because you specifically invoked your rights.

I personally don't agree with this decision, but it stands as of now.
 

sudden valley gunner

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,690
Location
Whatcom County
Well put Citizen.


This is another horrible decision by judges. Rights are not dependent upon circumstances we either have them or we don't.

The lesson is don't talk to cops! The more they make decisions like this the more people will not "cooperate" maybe that will be a good thing.
 

Citizen

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
18,280
Location
Fairfax Co., VA
+1 and thank you Citizen for putting things in historial context.
You're welcome.

The historical context is crucial. That is to say, the history tells us why a given right is valuable. History tells us what occurs in the absence of a given right; history tells us what it cost to obtain a given right.

I cannot recommend enough two books by Leonard Levy: Origins of the Bill of Rights, and Origins of the Fifth Amendment: the Right Against Self-incrimination. Both are still available in paperback as far as I know.
 
Last edited:

sudden valley gunner

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,690
Location
Whatcom County
You're welcome.

The historical context is crucial. That is to say, the history tells us why a given right is valuable. History tells us what occurs in the absence of a given right; history tells us what it cost to obtain a given right.

I cannot recommend enough two books by Leonard Levy: Origins of the Bill of Rights, and Origins of the Fifth Amendment: the Right Against Self-incrimination. Both are still available in paperback as far as I know.
Thanks! I'll have to go look for them, they are not on my e-reader......
 

onus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
699
Location
idaho
This ruling is bad because it creates an environment where you now shouldn't even answer ANY questions by police.

For instance, I made a video where I was filming the police detaining a man for taking photographs of a refinery.

Of course, the police came over to me. The police officer wanted to know if I was a traveling tourist and what kind of camera I was using. Now, on the surface it sounds like an innocent question from a curious officer who likes photography and wants my opinion on what is a good camera.

However, if I answered "its a Nikon D700" then he would have asked "cool, so what lens do you use" I would have said "I use a nikor 18-200" then he would have said "that's a nice lens, do you take pictures a lot?" I would have said "yes, I take all kinds of pictures, I like photography".

The problem comes when he says "so why are you taking pictures of a refinery?". Now at this point its obviously my constitutional right to remain silent BUT.....this new ruling says that if I suddenly don't answer this question that THAT is suspicious and can be introduced as evidence in a trial. I answered all questions prior freely and voluntarily in a non custodian interview so I was free to leave at anytime and I was free to invoke my rights at anytime so according to this new ruling when I stop answering questions (exercising a constitutional right) that is suspicious and evidence of evasion and admissionable in court.

If you want to see how I in fact handled the situation, watch my video.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCqMJ3VRH0
 
Last edited:

Citizen

Founder's Club Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
18,280
Location
Fairfax Co., VA
This ruling is bad because it creates an environment where you now shouldn't even answer ANY questions by police.

For instance, I made a video where I was filming the police detaining a man for taking photographs of a refinery.

Of course, the police came over to me. The police officer wanted to know if I was a traveling tourist and what kind of camera I was using. Now, on the surface it sounds like an innocent question from a curious officer who likes photography and wants my opinion on what is a good camera.

However, if I answered "its a Nikon D700" then he would have asked "cool, so what lens do you use" I would have said "I use a nikor 18-200" then he would have said "that's a nice lens, do you take pictures a lot?" I would have said "yes, I take all kinds of pictures, I like photography".

The problem comes when he says "so why are you taking pictures of a refinery?". Now at this point its obviously my constitutional right to remain silent BUT.....this new ruling says that if I suddenly don't answer this question that THAT is suspicious and can be introduced as evidence in a trial. I answered all questions prior freely and voluntarily in a non custodian interview so I was free to leave at anytime and I was free to invoke my rights at anytime so according to this new ruling when I stop answering questions (exercising a constitutional right) that is suspicious and evidence of evasion and admissionable in court.

If you want to see how I in fact handled the situation, watch my video.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCqMJ3VRH0
Excellent example.
 

davidmcbeth

Banned
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
16,170
Location
earth's crust
This ruling is bad because it creates an environment where you now shouldn't even answer ANY questions by police.

For instance, I made a video where I was filming the police detaining a man for taking photographs of a refinery.

Of course, the police came over to me. The police officer wanted to know if I was a traveling tourist and what kind of camera I was using. Now, on the surface it sounds like an innocent question from a curious officer who likes photography and wants my opinion on what is a good camera.

However, if I answered "its a Nikon D700" then he would have asked "cool, so what lens do you use" I would have said "I use a nikor 18-200" then he would have said "that's a nice lens, do you take pictures a lot?" I would have said "yes, I take all kinds of pictures, I like photography".

The problem comes when he says "so why are you taking pictures of a refinery?". Now at this point its obviously my constitutional right to remain silent BUT.....this new ruling says that if I suddenly don't answer this question that THAT is suspicious and can be introduced as evidence in a trial. I answered all questions prior freely and voluntarily in a non custodian interview so I was free to leave at anytime and I was free to invoke my rights at anytime so according to this new ruling when I stop answering questions (exercising a constitutional right) that is suspicious and evidence of evasion and admissionable in court.

If you want to see how I in fact handled the situation, watch my video.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCqMJ3VRH0
You should have just answered "you're the detective ... you tell me..now go away and leave me alone - I don't know you nor want to talk to you..scat!"
 

Primus

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
3,939
Location
United States
This ruling is bad because it creates an environment where you now shouldn't even answer ANY questions by police.

For instance, I made a video where I was filming the police detaining a man for taking photographs of a refinery.

Of course, the police came over to me. The police officer wanted to know if I was a traveling tourist and what kind of camera I was using. Now, on the surface it sounds like an innocent question from a curious officer who likes photography and wants my opinion on what is a good camera.

However, if I answered "its a Nikon D700" then he would have asked "cool, so what lens do you use" I would have said "I use a nikor 18-200" then he would have said "that's a nice lens, do you take pictures a lot?" I would have said "yes, I take all kinds of pictures, I like photography".

The problem comes when he says "so why are you taking pictures of a refinery?". Now at this point its obviously my constitutional right to remain silent BUT.....this new ruling says that if I suddenly don't answer this question that THAT is suspicious and can be introduced as evidence in a trial. I answered all questions prior freely and voluntarily in a non custodian interview so I was free to leave at anytime and I was free to invoke my rights at anytime so according to this new ruling when I stop answering questions (exercising a constitutional right) that is suspicious and evidence of evasion and admissionable in court.

If you want to see how I in fact handled the situation, watch my video.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCqMJ3VRH0
This case was MORE then just his not answering one question. His whole demeanor changed. His body language changed. Everything changed. It wasn't a answer a, answer b, don't answer c..... HA GOT YA!! Not remotely. It was totality of circumstances. Other guys have tried explaining this and agreed.
 

OC for ME

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
11,942
Location
White Oak Plantation
All ya gotta do is not speak a word to any cop who pulls ya over. Just hand your DL/registration/insurance card. Follow cop instructions in silence. There is no law that requires a citizen to speak to cops.....ever.

I gotta change my approach to interacting with cops. Where is Citizen and his catchy little phrase he uses when a cops speaks to him?
 
Top