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The Fifth Amendment?

Old 05-12-2015, 07:18 AM
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Default The Fifth Amendment?

I'll start by saying I'm reading up on this myself, but wanted to see what you guys think as well.

So there's discussion about the 5th Amendment in Tampa right now, and I'm curious:

Why is it that we vilify the protection the 5th amendment provides? You hear of people exercising their 5th amendment rights, and people say that like it's a bad thing.

Seems to me that the same enthusiasm for defending the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and the rest of them should be shown to the right someone has to the 5th, right?


The weirdest one, to me, is when a politician attacks another for "taking the 5th sixteen times during the trial..." or whatever the case is. Seems strange that someone who's part of the political system would be criticizing someone's constitutional rights.


Or am I way off on this line of thinking?
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:21 AM
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Nope you are right on. Also, anybody who is attacking the fifth I can guarantee would be using it's protections themselves if they were ever in a situation they needed to. The problem is in our judgemental and media driven society there is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty anymore. It is the opposite and choosing to say nothing is seen as a admitting guilt. Which it should not.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:25 AM
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I am guilty of harshly judging folks who use their 5th Amendment rights as being guilty as sin no matter the circumstances however I still believe in the the 5th (and all others).
Our system is not a perfect one but I see it as a better system than other country's.

One exception I would like to see: I do not think federal employees should be allowed to plead the 5th when it comes to answering questions about how they've conducted themselves while acting in a official capacity..... They are supposed to work for us therefore should be answerable to us.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:37 AM
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I don't think elected officials or corporations should be able to use the 5th.

Elected Officials were put into office to represent the people not themselves.

Corporations are not people but entities and subject to different laws, taxation, etc...
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:52 AM
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The second you take away one aspect of our rights (no 5th for political figures) you start down that slippery slope. Let them take the 5th all they want, it is up to the jury of the people to find them guilty as sin despite the right of the 5th.

Corporations don't ( should not) get to take the 5th they are not a citizen.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by creekman View Post
I don't think elected officials or corporations should be able to use the 5th.

Elected Officials were put into office to represent the people not themselves.

Corporations are not people but entities and subject to different laws, taxation, etc...
What does being elected have to do with whether or not the Fifth applies? Start making one exception and you open the slope to more. If you can't get enough evidence without their testimony your case isn't strong enough.

Corporations have been affirmed as "person" in many court cases, most recently the Hobby Lobby case. I am not sure of the fifth applies to them? But it does apply to the individuals who make up the corporation.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by YFMF View Post
The second you take away one aspect of our rights (no 5th for political figures) you start down that slippery slope. Let them take the 5th all they want, it is up to the jury of the people to find them guilty as sin despite the right of the 5th.

Corporations don't ( should not) get to take the 5th they are not a citizen.
Yep.

If the only clear evidence of guilt that can be found is a confession by the accused, the prosecution has a very poor case indeed.

But, I have never heard a corporation testify. The people responsible for running the corporations do that and they are entitled to 5th Amendment protection.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by YFMF View Post
The second you take away one aspect of our rights (no 5th for political figures) you start down that slippery slope. Let them take the 5th all they want, it is up to the jury of the people to find them guilty as sin despite the right of the 5th.

Corporations don't ( should not) get to take the 5th they are not a citizen.
I disagree. It is very easy to separate public from private.
Also it is not generally the elected officials doing the dirty work, it is the appointees who seem to answer to no one. Doing away with the 5th in that capacity will make em answerable for their malefaction. .
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRudy View Post
I disagree. It is very easy to separate public from private.
Also it is not generally the elected officials doing the dirty work, it is the appointees who seem to answer to no one. Doing away with the 5th in that capacity will make em answerable for their malefaction. .
Then find some evidence. If you have to have a confession then your case is pretty dang weak.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by N2theblue View Post
Then find some evidence. If you have to have a confession then your case is pretty dang weak.
I agree... an interview rarely gives me true evidence.... innocent till proven guilty :thumbsup
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I agree... an interview rarely gives me true evidence.... innocent till proven guilty :thumbsup
Sounds like somebody needs to use more night stick during interviews.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRudy View Post
I am guilty of harshly judging folks who use their 5th Amendment rights as being guilty as sin no matter the circumstances however I still believe in the the 5th (and all others).
Our system is not a perfect one but I see it as a better system than other country's.

One exception I would like to see: I do not think federal employees should be allowed to plead the 5th when it comes to answering questions about how they've conducted themselves while acting in a official capacity..... They are supposed to work for us therefore should be answerable to us.
Disagree with the top, agree with the bottom.

I like that some countries have 3 verdicts. Guilty, Innocent, and not enough to prove guilt.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:02 AM
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:12 AM
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Great subject. Same would apply to 4th Amendment against unreasonable and unwarranted searches and seizures. I've seen MANY instances on this forum where people blasted folks with a "if you don't have anything to hide, then why not submit to a search" mentality.

Hogwash. A right unexercised is a right you are likely to lose at some point (see 2nd Amendment!).

Ever see those videos on Youtube where people passing through inland border patrol "checkpoints" refuse to say whether they are an American Citizen? Personally, I don't have the balls (or the time to waste) but I'm glad some people do - they are the tip of the spear of liberty!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:50 AM
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judging folks who use their 5th Amendment rights as being guilty as sin no matter the circumstances however I still believe in the the 5th (and all others).

I sure hope you'd relay that sentiment before being chosen for any jury! Isn't there already enough pressure on the Constitution that we probably shouldn't be adding any 'except for" conditions to it?



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Old 05-12-2015, 10:17 AM
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sounds like the perfect citizen taking advantage of all his/her liverities would be someone crossing a boarder with a gun who you are not allowed to ask questions to that is here to take over the government?
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by dimag333 View Post
sounds like the perfect citizen taking advantage of all his/her liverities would be someone crossing a boarder with a gun who you are not allowed to ask questions to that is here to take over the government?

What does crossing the border have to do with it and you can ask questions, they justs don't have to answer.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:25 AM
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When you utter selective constitutionality, you promote its demise.


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Old 05-12-2015, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by N2theblue View Post
What does crossing the border have to do with it and you can ask questions, they justs don't have to answer.
just making a joke, but yeah, whatever
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:48 AM
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"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation"


There is a lot more to the 5th amendment than the right against self incrimination. The private property rights explicit in the 5th amendment is an explicit right to capitalism and consequently a prohibition of socialism in all it's forms. That means you can't tax my labor (ie. private property) much less use the revenues for the public use.
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