Plead the Fifth

Published Reading Time ~1 min Filed Under quoteslaw

A reminder that the odds are so stacked against you, you probably should just plead the fifth (i.e. stay silent) every time you have to talk to the cops. It’s a combination of more crimes than the (US) Federal government can count (and thus the very real possibility you’re committed a crime unknowingly), plus the ability of cops to take your statements out of context and spin them against you. Plus, you avoid the possibility of a providing a false confession — confessing to a crime you didn’t commit, sometimes just to get the cops to leave you alone.

From the highest level of the US Court system:

In 1956, the Supreme Court noted that “Too many, even those who should be better advised, view [the 5th Amendment] as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury and claim the privilege.” A more recent case elaborated, “One of the fifth amendment’s basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker’s own mouth.”

via Priceonomics


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