With Change in Miranda, Attorney Says ‘Silence Is Not Golden’


The words are ingrained in American criminal justice: “You have the right to remain silent.” But for those in trouble with the law, there's a new catch: If you're arrested, you'll have to speak up and declare you are invoking your right to keep quiet. On June 1, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision to alter the familiar Miranda warning, adding a stipulation that requires suspects to tell investigators of their desire to remain silent, in the same way they must specifically ask for an attorney. The Bay City (Mich.) Times found that local defense attorneys view the ruling as the latest step in the winnowing of suspects' rights. “The upshot is this – silence is not golden,” said Bay City attorney Edward M. Czuprynski.

He added, “To remain silent isn't enough anymore. That is a continuous erosion of our constitutional rights and a further move to a police state. It's been going on for years; it's not a surprising decision. I'm surprised they haven't chipped away more at Miranda than they already have.”

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