October 19, 2006
The Right to Silence Questioned in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the Police Association is calling for the right to silence to be reviewed and possibly revoked so that the police can compel people to talk. (I don't know if their proposal calls for a change in the law that would allow the right to silence to be used against people who invoked it--ie. to infer guilt--or if the New Zealand police would be allowed to use more aggressive "techniques," so to speak, to compel people to talk...probably the former, but the full story doesn't elaborate).
Two recent child homicide cases in New Zealand, in which the police say parents have refused to be interviewed, spurred the Police Association's call for review of the right to silence. Full story. . .
Mark Godsey's most recent article (Reformulating the Miranda Warnings in Light of Contemporary Law and Understandings) has a portion discussing how, internationally, inferring guilt from one's assertion of the right to silence (if a right to silence even exists) isn't an uncommon phenomenon. In fact, many people in the U.S. think that invoking the right to silence will be used against them in some way, even though such inferences of guilt are unconstitutional. [Michele Berry]
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