California Supreme Court: Silence Can Be Used Against YouBy PAUL ELIAS of Associated Press
Aug. 16, 2014
Polish MP Schools BBC Host On Refugees: 'How Many Terror Attacks Have You Had In London?'
Protesters Blow Whistles As Trump Sends 'Thoughts And Prayers' to Rep Steve Scalise
Gohmert: FBI's Refusal to Label Scalise Shooting Terrorism Suggests DOJ Compromised by Obama Holdovers
Johnny Depp: 'When Was The Last Time An Actor Assassinated a President?'
DEMS LOSE AGAIN: Ossoff Loses Second Round EVEN HARDER Despite Spending $22 Million
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The California Supreme Court has ruled that the silence of suspects can be used against them.
Wading into a legally tangled vehicular manslaughter case, a sharply divided high court on Thursday effectively reinstated the felony conviction of a man accused in a 2007 San Francisco Bay Area crash that left an 8-year-old girl dead and her sister and mother injured.
Richard Tom was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter after authorities said he was speeding and slammed into another vehicle at a Redwood City intersection.
Prosecutors repeatedly told jurors during the trial that Tom's failure to ask about the victims immediately after the crash but before police read him his so-called Miranda rights showed his guilt.
Legal analysts said the ruling could affect future cases, allowing prosecutors to exploit a suspect's refusal to talk before invoking 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
"It's a bad and questionable decision," said Dennis Fischer, a longtime criminal appellate lawyer.