I have always given this advice to all my clients (and anyone willing to listen): If there is any chance you might be a suspect, even if it’s not true, do not talk to the police. There is nothing you can say that will make things better. Their job is to get you to confess or at least say things that can be used against you. That makes their job so much easier later. The only exception is if you have an air-tight alibi (“I was in Europe the last three months and here’s my passport to prove it.”)
Well, I’m not sure what to advise them now. The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that silence can be used against you, too.
According to this decision, the District Attorney is allowed to argue to the jury that your silence can be interpreted as a sign of guilt.
Conservatives everywhere are thrilled with this new interpretation of the 5th Amendment — an interpretation which wholly new and not supported by any documentation from the Founding Fathers whose “intent” they always say should follow. Apparently, every Amendment has exceptions (except, of course, for the 2nd.)
This, by the way, is a great example of “judicial activism” wherein the judges write laws and change the meanings of long-established precedent. You know how much conservatives hate judicial activism. Well, unless they agree with the result.
My only hope is that some states (such as Pennsylvania, where I practice) will negate the decision. After all, a state can always give more rights than the bare minimum required by the Constitution.