When the Right to Remain Silent is Called Into Question

Email a Friend
From and

Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this segment. 

Under the Constitution's Fifth Amendment, an accused person has the right to remain silent but the application of that right is more difficult than it appears. Depending on where you live, there are questions about how you invoke your right to remain silent and if you have to say explicitly that's what you're doing. 

The right to remain silent is the subject of this week's Case In Point from The Marshall Project. The case involves a father who was referred to in court documents as S.S. In New Jersey, he was accused of molesting his four year old daughter. During the interrogation, S.S. repeatedly made comments that his lawyers say were ambiguously invoking his right to silence. 

WNYC's Sarah Gonzalez sat down with Andrew Cohen, author of Case In Point and Rebecca Livengood of the ACLU in New Jersey to discuss the case.