Supreme Court: Silence is golden, except when you’re under arrest.
Next time you’re arrested (for a crime you surely didn’t commit!), be sure to speak up before you shut up. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that after an officer reads a suspect his Miranda rights, the suspect has to clearly acknowledge them.
Men are significantly more likely to be arrested than women (and arguably more likely to to say something stupid to the po-po once they are), so this ruling might affect you. The 5-4 decision—with Anthony Kennedy, as usual, as the swing vote—follows a Michigan case where police advised shooting suspect Van Thompkins of his rights.
Thompkins allegedly said he understood, but he didn’t make clear that he wanted a lawyer or that he didn’t want to answer any questions. After almost three hours, an officer asked him, “Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?”
“Yes,” Thompkins replied. He was later convicted of first-degree murder, and that single word was a big reason why.
The Atlantic Wire has some helpful links from both supporters and critics of the ruling.