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"Self Incrimination and the right to privacy in a criminal proceeding."
Self Incrimination and the right to privacy in a criminal proceeding.
Chad Boger
The Fifth amendment protects a person against being incriminated by his or her own compelled testimonial communication. This protection is applicable to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. To be testimonial, a communication must itself, explicitly or implicitly relate to a factual assertion or disclose information that is the expression of the contents of an individual's mind. Therefore, the privilege against self-incrimination is not violated by compelling a person to appear in a line-up, produce voice exemplars, hand writing samples, fingerprints, shave mustache or beard, or take blood-alcohol or breathalyzer test.

The U.S. Supreme Court said:

"the privilege afforded not only extends to answers that would in themselves support a conviction under a criminal statute but like wise embraces those which would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute the claimant for a crime.

But this protection must be confined to instances where the witness has reasonable cause to apprehend danger from a direct answer…. To sustain the privilege, it need only be evident from the implications of the question, in the setting in which it is asked, that a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it cannot be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result. The trial judge in appraising the claim must be governed as much by his personal perception of the peculiarities of the case as by the facts actually in evidence."

In other words, not only the confession to the commission of a crime is protected under the Fifth Amendment. Also protected are incriminating admissions that, while not sufficient in and of themselves to support a conviction, would provide a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute.

Self incrimination and immunity are very much related given that both are protecting the individual who is...

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"Self Incrimination and the right to privacy in a criminal proceeding.." May 24, 2018
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