Fifth Amendment

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The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This amendment is typically associated with criminal trials where witnesses "plead the 5th" to invoke their right to avoid self-incrimination during questioning. It is erroneously believed by many that only guilty people would plead the 5th. In fact, this amendment was crafted in part to protect the innocent.[1]

Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

Bill of Rights:

  1. 1 - Freedom of speech, Freedom of the press, Freedom of religion, etc.
  2. 2 - Right to bear arms
  3. 3 - Quartering of soldiers
  4. 4 - Warrants
  5. 5 - Due process
  6. 6 - Right to a speedy trial
  7. 7 - Right by trial of a jury
  8. 8 - No cruel or unusual punishments
  9. 9 - Unenumerated rights
  10. 10 - Power to the people and states

  1. 11 - Immunity of states to foreign suits
  2. 12 - Revision of presidential election procedures
  3. 13 - Abolition of slavery
  4. 14 - Citizenship
  5. 15 - Racial suffrage
  6. 16 - Federal income tax
  7. 17 - Direct election to the United States Senate
  8. 18 - Prohibition of alcohol
  9. 19 - Women's suffrage
  10. 20 - Terms of the presidency
  11. 21 - Repeal of Eighteenth Amendment
  12. 22 - Limits the president to two terms
  13. 23 - Electoral College
  14. 24 - Prohibition of poll taxes
  15. 25 - Presidential disabilities
  16. 26 - Voting age lowered to 18
  17. 27 - Variance of congressional compensation


See Also


References

  1. "[W]e have emphasized that one of the Fifth Amendment's "basic functions ... is to protect innocent men ... 'who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.' " Grunewald v. United States, 353 U. S. 391, 421 (1957) (quoting Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City, 350 U. S. 551, 557-558 (1956)) (emphasis in original). In Grunewald, we recognized that truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker's own mouth. 353 U. S., at 421-422." OHIO v. MATTHEW REINER, No. 00-1028. Decided March 19, 2001. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=000&invol=00-1028


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