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Silence, UK vs US law

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Silence, UK vs US law

Postby megaman » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:10 am

In the UK a persons silence during interview, if later followed up with a statement can be taken to mean fabrication and silence during trial can be taken to mean he has no defense to raise.

In the US it is widely believe that there can be no adverse inference from silence, but this is not true.
The so called Miranda rights only apply if a suspect is read these rights during a custodial interview or the suspect expressly claims them.

In one example case a defendant was convicted of a motoring offence where other people was hurt,
because he did not ask about the condition of the people in the other car while he was at the scene.

Would something as absurd as this ever happen in the country?

https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/admission-by-silence/
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/new ... story.html
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby dls » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:58 am

In the UK a persons silence during interview, if later followed up with a statement can be taken to mean fabrication and silence during trial can be taken to mean he has no defense to raise.

Not quite as simple as that. it will be rather more nuanced - starting with the limitation to a 'proper inference'. My self, I always thought the inferences you refer to quite improper.
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby shootist » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:50 am

There is a very big difference between 'taken to mean' and a jury being invited to consider why silence was chosen by the accused.

As far as the Miranda Rights are concerned, what a person says prior to the 'reading' of those rights is often inadmissible for the very reason they have not been 'Mirandered'. In the UK, words spoken by a suspect who has not been cautioned are not necessarily excluded. Neither is evidence unlawfully obtained always excluded.

More interesting discussion might be about the fact that investigators can lie when interviewing suspects if the lie would appeal to the guilty mind, or the 'Fruit of the Poisoned Tree' principle that does not apply here.
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby Spankymonkey » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:36 pm

megaman wrote:In the UK a persons silence during interview, if later followed up with a statement can be taken to mean fabrication and silence during trial can be taken to mean he has no defense to raise.


You most surely have this back to front. Refusing to speak during a police interview and instead handing over a statement that sets out facts relevant to the line of enquiry, is generally regarded by the courts as 'mentioning' them for the purposes of Section 34a of the CJPOA.

Also, Adverse inference is not to be drawn from a person's silence during interview per se, but rather from the failure of the accused to mention facts during questioning, which he then relies upon at trial.

Unless the written statement at interview deviated significantly from facts relied upon at trial, I fail to see how a proper inference was drawn under the vague example you give.
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby dls » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:09 pm

Nicely put.

I say again that at some point a court will notice the word 'proper' and inquire what might be an improper reference.
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby atticus » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:31 pm

Is that what the OP meant by "if later followed up ... "?
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby diy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:36 am

You don't have a right to silence in UK motoring law at least (1) , further you don't have a right not to self incriminate. It has been established that it is lawful to compel a driver or registered keeper to provide certain information even if that information would incriminate them. In addition the tariffs for failure are usually higher than that of the offence, so while its not quite "confess to avoid execution", its certainly on that path.

(1) http://swarb.co.uk/ohalloran-and-franci ... -jun-2007/
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby dls » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:50 am

You don't have a right to silence in UK motoring law at least

Correct, but at the same time you are driving under a licence granted to you under certain conditions.
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby diy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:40 pm

Its a little broader than that given section http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/172

(b)any other person shall if required as stated above give any information which it is in his power to give and may lead to identification of the driver.


That doesn't fit well with other rights the citizen has not to be forced to assist police officer gathering information.
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Re: Silence, UK vs US law

Postby dls » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:03 pm

Yes
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