THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT by Milton Meltzer

THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A passionate, far ranging defense of the Fifth Amendment protection of the right to remain silent which goes back to the origins of its systematic violation during the inquisition (where the self-incriminating confession served as both the charge and the proof of guilt) and its gradual establishment as a principle of English common law through the struggles of political prisoners such as leveler John Lilbourne. Meltzer extends his examination of the right on through the nonpolitical applications of the Miranda and Esposito decisions, defending it as logical and necessary (though hardly sufficient safeguard) against the desire of the police to obtain a confession. Many will be surprised to learn that the much lauded Thomas More was a proponent of the inquisition, and Meltzer's defense of the rights of accused criminals strikes a note of welcome sanity (he does not deny the need for law and order, but suggests other methods of achieving it). Meltzer presents the historical evidence and often relies on his readers to draw the correct conclusions from excerpted testimony; still he covers a lot of ground and those who are able to keep up with him should be well rewarded.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972
ISBN: 0152669906
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1972




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