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June 23, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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June 23, 2010

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12B Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter - 00'lttD a right 1!c rer00'00,ain s:il,e0000t? LEGAL MUSINGS STEVE BRENNEMAN On Jan. 31, 1963, Los Ange- les police officers arrested Roy Allen Sl:ewart in connec- tion with a series of purse- snatching incidents, one of which resulted in the death of the victim. Stewart was taken to the police station, where he was interrogatedon nine separate occasions over the next five days. He eventu- ally confessed. The prosecution presented a transcript of Stewart's confession at trial. He was convicted of robbery and murder and sentenced to death. However, the Califor- nia Supreme Court reversed the conviction because Stewart had not been in- formed of his right to remain silent before being interro- gated. At the time of Stewart's conviction, the law of the land recognized that an involuntary confession is not admissible in court because of the Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." Courts often wrestled with whether, in a given case, a confession had been obtained volun- tarily or was the product of physical or mental coercion. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in California v. Stewart and three other cases to consider whether a confession ob- tained without first inform- ing the accused of his right to remain silent may be admit- ted at trial. In the other three cases, the courts had con- cluded no such warning was necessary. The Supreme Court first discussed the various tech- niques used by police inter- rogators to obtain a confes- sion, from falsely telling the suspect he has been identified by eyewitnesses to engaging in prolonged and repeated in- terrogation designed to wear down the suspect's resistance. The court then reviewed the history of the Fifth Amendment and explained its importance in our national jurisprudence. According to the court: "[O]ur accusatory system of criminal justice de- mands that the government seeking to punish an indi- vidual produce evidence against him by its own inde- pendent labors, rather than by the cruel, simple expedi- ent of compelling it from his own mouth." The court concluded a suspect placed in isolation, surrounded by antagonistic forces and subjected to various techniques of persua- sion "cannot be otherwise than under compulsion to speak." In other words, any confes- sion obtained under such circumstances can never be voluntary unless the suspect is first advised, in no uncer- tain terms, of his right to remain silent. This decision by the United States Supreme Court is one with which we are all too familiar. One of the three cases consolidated with California v. Stewart was Miranda v. Arizona, which ultimately provided the title for the decision. In Miranda, the high court held that, where a suspect is taken into custody, "[h]e must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an at- torney one will be appointed for him prior to any question- ing if he so desires." So why do I spend so much time discussing the back- ground and holding of a case we all know so well? And what does this have to do with terrorists? Allow me to explain. There has been much dis- cussion over the last several years about whether terror suspects are entitled to re- ceive Miranda warnings be- fore being questioned. Many of those on the right ar- gue that terror suspects who are not U.S. citizens are not entitled to the protection of the Fifth Amendment. They also argue that acts of terror are tantamount to acts of war and should be treated as such. The safety of the public demands that we be able to interrogate suspects without them "lawyering up" in order to prevent future atrocities. Many on the left counter that acts of terror are crimes just like any other and should be dealt with under the criminal justice system. They further argue it does not matter if the suspect is not a U.S. citizen, because our willingness to treat all human beings with equal dig- nity is what makes this coun- try great. With all due respect, these arguments miss the point. Over the years, Miranda has come to stand for the proposi- tion that every time a suspect is arrested and questioned, he must first be read his rights. But that's only half the story. After summarizing the warnings that must be given before any custodial interro- gation and explaining that the interrogation may pro- ceed only if the accused waives his right to remain silent, the Supreme Court said: "[U]nless and until such warnings and waiver are demonstrated by the prosecu- tion at trial, no evidence obtained as a result of interrogation can be used against him." In other words, Miranda warnings are necessary only where the interrogators seek to obtain information that will ultimately be used against the accused in court. There is no constitutional right to remain silent that exists in a vacuum. If you are subpoenaed to testify in a trial, you have no right to refuse to answer questions. It is only when such answers may tend to incriminate you in some criminal activity that the Fifth Amendment kicks in. So if those on the right are being honest and only want terror suspects to be ques- tioned in order to obtain information about other suspected terrorists or other planned terror activities, Miranda warnings are un- necessary. Interrogators may question the suspect to their heart's content, as long as they recognize that any evidence obtained cannot be used against the suspect in court. In most cases, this should be no problem. Take the case of the underwear bomber last December. There must have been more than 100 eye- witnesses to the crime, not to mention the physical' evidence of burned skin. Who needs a confession under these circumstances? Likewise with the shoe bomber, Richard Reid? He too was caught in the act. Again, plenty of witnesses. No confession necessary. That doesn't mean, of course, that police interroga- tors are free to go "Jack Bauer" on terror suspects. The right to question a suspect is not the right to beat answers out of him. If the suspect refuses to answer, despite whatever lawful tricks or coercion are usedl so be it. So if the federal government is serious about protecting us from terror activities, enough with the Miranda warnings. The important thing here is getting information, not get- ting a conviction. LETTERS, from page 11B today. Either way there would be ample room for the animals, food supplies and Noah's family. As for the size of the dinosaurs, the average size is about the size of a sheep. Also, God in his wisdom probably sent younger dinosaurs that would have been smaller and would have a longer reproductive life ahead of them than old big ones. Is anyone else interested in other important questions like this, such as: Where did Cain get his wife? Where did the different "races" come from after the flood? Check out World-class scientists from around the globe contribute to this website because of their, desire to uphold the truth and authority of the Bible. Jerry Dutton Meadow Valley Reverse it I've had it. Why is it that all these layoffs are for those at the bottom of the financial ladder? Why can't we do a little "laying off" for some at the top of the ladder? Let's start with the board of supes! Let's cut their numbers down to three or even two. Yeah, why not -- of course they can't be laid off because they were elected -- OK! So recall is in order. We desperately need to save money. So, if this idea can't wash, then reverse the order: remember when raises were in order? Yeah, when the rais- es came through the little guy at the bottom of the ladder got 2 or 3 percent while the up- per-level high wage got 15 per- cent: let's just reverse it. That way we can really reduce the cost of government. Yes, I'm just dreaming, I know those at the top have the say of who leaves and who doesn't and they are going to take care of number one. Sad, but true. So, little guys, go down and sign up for welfare. That's life and the Depression gets closer. Red Perkett Crescent Mills Sudoku Puzzle #1843-D ..... 4 3 9 8 6 1 5 7 1 2 3 2 3 4 8 6 7 . 4 2 In the Sack N A $ A L A Y ATON OLE SOUN |TA APPE RES Ill Ill S E A L A L S INCA SIA S T E T TON lll00 liB TALL ISSAIS ELLA ACiK ELEC IORR!E RANK IElO Sudoku 1 7 4 3 9 2 8 4 3 9 6 5 5 6 2 8 711 Solution #1835-D 8249356 678591 2 5361784 25761 39 1 824567 791 3428 3492871 91 57643 4638295 ACROSS . scale 10. Leo's movie studio 13. Low-budget prefix 14. Double Stuf cookie brand 15. Philippine tribesman 16. James Bond foe of 1964 18. Pastry prettifier 19. No-cal fat substitute 20. Squirrels away 22. Prospector's find 24. Slow on the (dense) 25. -on-Hudson, Can You Digit? I 2 3 4 Like a pool table,    ideally 3 Low on the Mohs .... 16 5 26 27 28 32 38 44 m 7 48 49 0 53 56 , American Profile Hometown Content 23 3O 5O 62 NY 30. Tasty fungus 32. Red Square tomb occupant 33. Cohort of Howard and Howard 65. River of Nantes 12. Code inventor 34. Old name on US 66. Cash on the 15. Christmas flora pumps Ginza 17. Mineral abundant 38. Draw out 67. Circus horn- in spinach 39. "_ takers?" honker 21. Mighty Joe 40. Cockeyed .68. Be a pain to Young, for one 41. MVP part 23. Renowned 42. Cloned dino of DOWN 25. Skelton's film 1. Toy block brand Kadiddlehopper 43. Orators' spots 26. Spiff up 44. Green 2. Tree-hugger's subj. 27. Cross to bear surrounder 3. Meadow mouse 28. Game that's 46. Spine-tingling 4. Wraps up usually drawn 47. Coined money 5. A nine iron has 29. "A Chorus Line" 50. Up to, in ads lots of it hit 52. Snitch's threat 6. Fish Iocator 31. Common cameo 54. Departing from 7. Web address stone the norm ender 33. Casino card 60. Composer game Schifrin 8. Broker's charges 61. Small sponge 9. Waterboarding, 35. Fries, often some claim 36. "Your __ is cake showing!" 63. "Oh! Susanna!" 10. Coffee shop order 37. "Our Gang" joint 11. Rosetta Stone affirmative 64. Kris Allen, e.g. language 40. Auto loan letters 15 m 34 35 136 56 57 158 5 010 42. Vine supporter 45. Shepherd's 46. Staff symbol 47. Like corn tassels 48. Shop class tool 49. Sitcom with a noted coming-out 51. Pastoral poem 53. Fill with freight 55. Home improvement pro Bob 56. Look  (visit briefly) 57. Opposed to, in dialect 58. Infamous "fiddler" 59. Long basket, in basketball lingo 62.  one-eighty ' Photogra0000 Home Entertainment Systems ( Photo Restoration i C "Sometimes it is not enough to do our best; we must do what is required." -- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) Private Showings Call for Appointment 530-596-4166 Image Capture Large Format Printing 3215 Hill Crest Drive Hamilton Branch