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YakHerder 1
While those amendments are sources of certain rights, those rights do not include the right to remain silent before a grand jury. There is no such right.

This is in no way meant to detract from the courageous stand taken by these grand jury protesters. Just don't want anyone out there to get the idea that this is a valid strategy that can or should get you out of jail.
Posted by YakHerder on November 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
Fnarf 2
If we're lucky, he'll never break, and he'll never see the light of day again.
Posted by Fnarf on November 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 3
P: Do you intend to answer “ I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.” to all questions?

M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

What a fucking child.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
JensR 4
I think its pretty brave not to answer. Silence is a right in a way too. I hope he makes it through this and they either let him go or find something they can actually charge him with using normal channels instead of a politruk affair as this
Posted by JensR on November 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
@3 Yup.
Posted by giffy on November 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
@4 Or he could just testify. They are not interested in charging him as aside form refusing to testify it does not appear that he has committed a crime and they have given him immunity regardless. They are however interested in arresting the fuckers that trashed downtown and rightly so. He has information about that and therefor is being required to provide testimony.

You might have more sympathies with these folks than with other criminals, but without the ability to compel testimony we could not have a functioning justice system.
Posted by giffy on November 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
@4 People being jailed for refusing to give testimony is the norm in the American legal system. There are certain circumstances under which a person has the right to remain silent, but for the most part you can either talk or be locked up.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on November 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 9
6, He's not being imprisoned for his beliefs. He being imprisoned because he's refusing to testify. None of the Constitutional amendments cited allow for refusal of type of testimony being requested. The "no snitching" culture may be hip, but hip won't keep you out of jail if you try it with a grand jury.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on November 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Seriously, I've been converted. Liberal fascists DO exists. Thanks, you guys are right on track to enable fascism.
Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
The grand jury isn't simply targetting the folks who fought back on Mayday - they're also clearly fishing for general information about radicals (specifically anarchists). Swat teams are raiding people's homes for "black clothing and anarchist literature," and because of this, the grand jury resistors aren't simply taking an incredibly brave stand for those who fought on Mayday, but for all of us who may have ever read a "dangerous" book or owned "radical" literature.
Posted by jjcascadia on November 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
@1, One's right to avoid self-incrimination under the 5th amendment can be invoked during GJ questioning. However, it cannot be invoked to avoid incriminating another.

The 1st and 4th amendment are not being used in the correct context though.
Posted by ourkind on November 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Dougsf 14
@13 - How are those two things related?
Posted by Dougsf on November 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Liberal fascism, it just occurred to me, is the idea that its okay to fight for the constitutional right of Nazis to exercise free speech and also to freak out and actively condemn people who smash corporate windows. Something doesn't add up there.
Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 16

When Nazis start smashing shit up, I'll be the first in line to demand that they be arrested and prosecuted.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 14, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Great, good for you, proud of you. But Nazis like to attack immigrants, want to kill a lot of people, and would probably smash a synagogue. Anarchists like to smash bank windows and Niketown windows and I'm sure you're gonna say they are the same as the Nazis. That's my point.
Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 18

No, I don't think anarchists are the same as Nazis. I challenge you to find anyone who thinks that.

Anarchists have the same right to free speech as anyone else. If you demonstrate peacefully, you'll have broken no laws. And, if you're arrested anyway, any number of people here and civil liberties groups such as the ACLU will vociferously fight for your right to speak out.

When Nazis demonstrate and are not arrested, such as in Skokie, Illinois, which is what I presume you're referring to, it's when they follow the law and neither hurt individuals nor destroy property.

The ultimate irony here is that hate groups have learned over the years to abide by the law to the letter during their demonstrations so the feds have no reason or justification to raid and shut down their operations and hold their members for grand jury investigations. It seems like anarchists could learn a thing or two from them.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 14, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
@11 Perhaps because the people who engaged in the criminal activity at issue here did so wearing black clothing? And it wasn't literature, but materials, like journals or other things that might be evidence.

No one gives that much of a shit about a bunch of dumb kids playing revolutionaries to concoct this. But smashing up downtown and scaring a bunch of people is a serious crime and the people who did that should be arrested and charged.

Posted by giffy on November 14, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Dougsf 20
@18 - Whoa, I think you just landed the first ever reverse-Godwin. I believe that means the comments MUST continue.
Posted by Dougsf on November 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
See? Anarchists and hate groups are equated in your mind. Liberal fascism FTW. Also, who got scared downtown?
Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Maverick Biceps 22
Fnarf @2, the only light going out is the weak flame of your relevance.
Posted by Maverick Biceps on November 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Report this
@21 I'm not sure if the anarchists are a hate group, but they're a bunch of nitwits who need a good pepper spraying followed by a trip to the pokey.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on November 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
@23 See, now you sound like a nazi
Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 14, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
Fnarf 25
There is nothing remotely "nazi" about answering the questions of a grand jury.
Posted by Fnarf on November 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
@24 I'm a political moderate. Last week I voted for Obama. If I had to choose between the Black Blockers and some American version of the Golden Dawn, I'd choose the Golden Dawn. However, that is not a choice I would ever want to make.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on November 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM · Report this
I cant believe this is more true than I thought it would be.

Anyone else reading this? A liberal would choose nazis over anarchists.

Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 14, 2012 at 10:41 PM · Report this
watchout5 29
First they came for the papers and the people who own them that the government labeled as anarchists but I didn't label myself a paper or an anarchist so I didn't speak up. If you think what's at stake in these proceedings is actually finding out who attacked a federal court house that's not what this investigation is about. Look at the questions. They're fishing. They see an opportunity to get people behind the stand they've been trying to get at for years and they think they have a solid case. I wouldn't hesitate to tell a grand jury I know my rights and go to jail for them. These people are national heroes for doing what they do. This should end here. The feds have nothing else. These people do their time and we all move on with our lives. They will never catch the big fish but that's the game they're playing, and they're willing to take down the small fish at the risk of losing the big fish. To cause intimidation and chaos. They'd be cute if it weren't for the total disregard of human rights.
Posted by watchout5 on November 15, 2012 at 4:43 AM · Report this
A witness can refuse to answer questions posed by a grand jury only if the witness can claim a valid privilege as the basis for doing so. The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination is a constitutional privilege and, as such, can be invoked by a grand jury witness, as long as the requirements for invoking it (i.e., that answering the question would "incriminate" the person, in that the answer would provide the government with evidence it can use to prosecute that person for crimes). The government can deprive someone of their ability to take the 5th if the government gives the person immunity. The premise is that the 5th amendment privilege protects you from having to say things that can be used to convict you of a crime; if the government promises not to use what you say or anything derived from what you say against you (e.g., gives you immunity), then you can be forced to answer because forcing you to do so does not violate what the intent of the 5th amendment .
Posted by StormWx on December 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this

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