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By author: Robert J. McWhirter
Number of Pages:  45
Dimensions:  7 X 10 Inches (US)
Original publication year:  2017
ISBN:  978-1-945682-05-6
Paperback / softback
Availability: In stock.

1. Important: this amendment sets constitutional limits to police procedure and guarantees that all defendants, no matter how reviled, will receive a fair trial. 2. Timely: Larger than protecting the right against self-incrimination, this amendment continues to be much quoted and debated both in criminal and civil proceedings. “Arguably the most complex of the amendments”. 3. Author is a constitutional lawyer, teacher and TV commentator 4. Unique approach that links argument to popular culture--films, TV, sports and current affairs
The Fifth Amendment packs a lot of rights into one paragraph; Grand Juries, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, right to due process and forfeiture of private property are all covered. We, as the public, are probably most aware of “Taking the Fifth” beloved of politicians and arch criminals alike. The idea of a person having the right not to be a witness against themselves has a very long history starting with Judaic law. That history is traced here traversing the Middle Ages and oath taking, the Inquisition, church courts and double jeopardy, the contest between common law and ecclesiastical courts, the use and abuse of self-incrimination in Tudor and Jacobean England and, finally, its interpretation in colonial America. All of this history and law informed James Madison when he drafted the Fifth Amendment, and Robert McWhirter here recounts that long arc and its influence. This lively account is written for the interested citizen, as well as the civics student, and there are surprising, and interesting, discursions into the way the events and personalities surrounding the Fifth Amendment have appeared in literature, film, sports and popular culture. The book is part of a collection chronicling the origins, history, and interpretation, of the first ten Amendments to the Constitution – the Bill of Rights.
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