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26.11.02

CalPundit suggests dropping the Fifth Amendment (right not to bear witness against yourself), because "If forced confessions and star chamber proceedings are outlawed -- as they are today -- why should suspects not be required to account for themselves in open court?"

I think the Fifth Amendment is important in keeping one prosecution from turning into another. Imagine, for example, someone's on trial for murder and the prosecutor demands to know where he was on the night of November 21. Now imagine the guy was nowhere near the scene of the murder on that night, because he was visiting his mistress. Should he be foreced to confess to this other wrongdoing because he's been mistakenly charged with something else?

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