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Is there a right to remain silent? : coercive interrogation and the Fifth Amendm
Alan M. Dershowitz
Adult Nonfiction KF9668 .D47 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The prolific and opinionated Dershowitz (Rights from Wrongs), public personality and Harvard law professor, is provocative and erudite in this treatise on the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, which in his view may become a victim of the war on terror as America slides toward preventing violent acts rather than deterring them with threat of punishment. Replete with trademark Dershowitz flourishes, quotes from a wide range of sources including Jewish law, Emily Dickinson and his own college term paper, this is a serious examination of the constitutional ramifications of an unheralded 2003 Supreme Court decision, Chavez v. Martinez, that could allow the coercion of testimony from interrogation subjects as long as the information isn't used against them in criminal prosecutions. Dershowitz is best at exploring the implications of this decision. His analysis is sometimes technical on the origin of the right to remain silent as well as its application to suspects, defendants and witnesses. Dershowitz believes current law is dangerously unsettled and, as such, an "anathema to democracy"; his conclusion is a measured but urgent call to fill the legal "black hole" that the narrow Chavez decision creates regarding a right we all take for granted. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Dershowitz (Harvard Law Sch.; America on Trial) here examines the status of our Fifth Amendment rights protecting us from self-incrimination in the wake of 9/11 and the war on terror. Using the 2003 Supreme Court decision Chavez v. Martinez as a springboard, he looks at how the Court has recently interpreted the amendment. Chavez v. Martinez originated as a civil case in which Martinez, a suspect, sued Benjamin Chavez, a police officer, for interrogation techniques that Martinez said violated his right to remain silent. The Court ruled for Chavez, saying in part that Martinez's right to remain silent had not been violated because the incriminating statements obtained by interrogation were not used against him in court, a decision that could imply that various types of questioning are now allowed under some circumstances. After examining the Court's logic in its decision, Dershowitz outlines the history of the right to remain silent, finding its roots in ancient Jewish law and later in Magna Carta. In the closing chapters, he argues that this right is being undermined by our transformation from a "deterrent" state to a "preventative" one and concludes that our justice system must be adapted for the preventative state. An excellent book; best suited for academic libraries, but public libraries will want to consider it because of the author's popularity.-Becky Kennedy, Atlanta-Fulton P.L., GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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