Pleading the 5th amendment is useful if you’re a politico or scapegoat or tipster sitting in the Hot Seat!
While driving to work, I listened as the radio broadcast a government employee invoking the 5th and I thought, “Well, that came in handy.”
In case you were absent the day they taught the 5th amendment in school:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation
Too bad we can’t invoke the right in work situations or in our personal lives.
Imagine how much we could get away with!
- Mom: Who broke the vase? Kiddo: I take the 5th.
- Dad: Who filled the vodka bottle with water? Teen: My government teacher says I can plead the 5th so I don’t incriminate myself.
- Wife: Why didn’t you remember our anniversary? Hubby: Taking the 5th and calling to make dinner reservations right now.
- Boss: Why did the client go to our competitor? Employee: I invoke the protective rights of the 5th amendment while I call the HR department
- Teacher: Why didn’t you turn in the assignment on time? Student: Not only do I take the 5th, I’m telling my mom you’re prying into my personal life.
- Mom: Why did you pee in the house? Dog: Woof.
Of course, the moment someone pleads the 5th amendment, we know or assume the person might just as well have shouted:
But wait, you say. It’s wrong to assume guilt–that’s not what the amendment was written for at all! One thing is certain: Something funky is going on!
I stay far away from all political discussions (on my blog at least);
however, as any parent can attest, a child who doggedly remains silent–and is NOT the guilty party–is really covering for someone else! Usually a sibling or friend! Which in Parentland requires a long lecture and cajoling to tell “the truth.”
We still don’t know which kiddo filled the vodka bottle with water. *sigh* Maybe one day.
Good thing the home is not a court room!
What do you think? If someone pleads the 5th, nolo contendre ( I refuse to agree or deny), or remains silent on an issue what is your instinctive response?