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Accuracy Disputed[edit]

This is not NPOV. It says rights are being curtailed in the name of the ambigiuous and Orwellian War against Terror.

Fifth amendment has been well-written about, so we don't really need a reference to some Newsweek article, or to quote a publisher's description from the back of a book. The name of the book should be enough. I'm deleting the fluffy stuff. [Alexei]


Shouldn't this article be merged with Right to silence? --JW1805 19:40, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

While they may serve a similar purpose, protection from self-incrimination and the right to silence are not the same thing. To "take the Fifth" is significantly different from the right not to answer questions - indeed the Fifth Amendment does not mention silence. 23:21, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Further explanation[edit]

The article explains what self-incrimination is and that it is not allowed in certain legal systems, but does not explain why. The question of why someone should not be required to incriminate themselves is not answered. Mojo-chan 15:37, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Directly or indirectly[edit]

Self-incrimination can occur either directly or indirectly: directly, by means of interrogation where information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed; indirectly, when information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed voluntarily without pressure from another person.

Shouldn't this be the converse? That is, directly when disclosed voluntarily, and indirectly by means of interrogation? Please explain. Dforest (talk) 05:20, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

That's what I thought. I think it's a mistake. (talk) 18:41, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

plea bargaining[edit]

Why isn't plea bargaining considered a violation of the right against self-incrimination. Saying "if you confess, you will get one year shorter sentence" is equal to saying "if you remain silent, you will be punished by one year more". -- (talk) 13:37, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Dear IP A short, simple answer would be: A plea bargain is a deal whereby the defendant pleads guilty to at least one charge in exchange for having at least one other charge dropped. A plea bargain does not involve anyone "compelling" the defendant to be a "witness against himself". In some sense, of course, there is pressure being put on the defendant, but under the law this is not the kind of pressure that is deemed to violate the defendant's right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself. Famspear (talk) 16:34, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

A guilty plea is a recognition by the accused that the prosecution is able to prove all the essential elements of the alleged crime. It is also considered a mitigating factor in sentencing because it demonstrates remorse on the part of the offender. By pleading guilty, the accused waives the right to remain silent and, in effect, agrees to incriminate himself or herself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 16 June 2015 (UTC)


This act makes failure to disclose a password, key or keyphrase, or failure to decrypt data when required by a police investigation to do so a criminal offence. Given the probability that encrypted data potentially represents the self-incriminating thoughts of a defendant, should this act and similar legal provisions elsewhere (e.g. concerning border searches of computing equipment) be discussed on this page ? --Copsewood (talk) 15:52, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Maybe. Of course, the laws of both the United States and the United Kingdom are full of provisions that criminalize the intentional failure or refusal to disclose a given piece of information, or the intentional refusal to perform some act. I can't comment on the effect of such laws in the United Kingdom, as I'm not that familiar with the current legal system there. In the United States, whether such a law can withstand the provisions of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution depends on the kind of information that is being required to be provided, and the attendant circumstances. Famspear (talk) 20:22, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Uncited sentence[edit]

OK so I don't read your rules I just common sense, and am smarter than most of the people who edit Wikipedia.

Now this sentence it makes my stomach quiver, I believe it is on the fence with a citation, although it is somewhat general knowledge as far as what can be sought after.

If it needs a citation email me before you delete it and I'll do it when I get drunk. Burnedfaceless (talk) 20:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Which sentence are you referring to? Gnome de plume (talk) 13:04, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Canada Self Incrimination[edit]

Would this source work to help clarify the section:

The relevant text in question: Incriminating questions

5 (1) No witness shall be excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer to the question may tend to criminate him, or may tend to establish his liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or of any person.

Answer not admissible against witness

(2) Where with respect to any question a witness objects to answer on the ground that his answer may tend to criminate him, or may tend to establish his liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or of any person, and if but for this Act, or the Act of any provincial legislature, the witness would therefore have been excused from answering the question, then although the witness is by reason of this Act or the provincial Act compelled to answer, the answer so given shall not be used or admissible in evidence against him in any criminal trial or other criminal proceeding against him thereafter taking place, other than a prosecution for perjury in the giving of that evidence or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 5; 1997, c. 18, s. 116. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:28, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

It should probably be updated to mention that in certain situations spouses may refuse to testify even if subpoenaed.

From the most recent Canadian Evidence Act: Section 4 under Witnesses [1]:

Accused and spouse

4 (1) Every person charged with an offence, and, except as otherwise provided in this section, the wife or husband, as the case may be, of the person so charged, is a competent witness for the defence, whether the person so charged is charged solely or jointly with any other person. Spouse of accused

(2) No person is incompetent, or uncompellable, to testify for the prosecution by reason only that they are married to the accused.

Communications during marriage

(3) No husband is compellable to disclose any communication made to him by his wife during their marriage, and no wife is compellable to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during their marriage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:54, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^