Do You Have the Right to Remain Silent? | Salinas v. Texas

Do You Have the Right to Remain Silent? | Salinas v. Texas

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Mr. Beat presents Supreme Court Briefs Houston, Texas December 18, 1992 Someone shoots and kills two brothers, named Juan and Hector Garza. Houston police arrive to the murder scene and find shotgun shell cases, but not much else. Later, they invite Genovevo Salinas down to the station for questioning. Salinas apparently had been at a party at the Garza residence the night before the murder. He voluntarily goes down to the station, and the police do not arrest him nor read him the Miranda warning since he was free to leave at any time. They question Salinas for an hour, and he even agrees to give the police his shotgun for testing. However, according to the police report, Salinas stopped answering questions once the cops asked him if the gun would match the shells from the scene of the crime. The police also reported that after he was asked the question he acted much more nervously and seemed deceptive. Salinas left shortly after this. A bit later, police found out that indeed, Salina’s gun matched the casings at the murder scene They also heard from a witness who said Salinas had admitted to killing the victims. So, a warrant went out for his arrest, but they couldn’t find him. They later found out he had fled to Mexico. Flash forward almost 15 years later, in 2007, and a dude under a different name in Houston is arrested for drug charges. The fingerprints matched those of someone already in their system. It was Salinas. Boy was he surprised when he was arrested for the murder of the Garza brothers. But Salinas wasn’t going down without a fight. At his trial, the prosecutor brought up how Salinas got all silent after the police asked him if the gun casings matched his shotgun, which was evidence that he was guilty. Salinas argued that the Fifth Amendment protected his right to remain silent, you know, to avoid self-incrimination. However, in the end the trial court found Salinas guilty of the murders, but he only given 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine? Man, the justice system is weird. It’s appeal time, baby. Salinas appealed to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, and they agreed with the lower court. Salinas appealed again to the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, who…yep, agreed with the lower courts. So he appealed to the Supreme Court, and they agreed to hear the case in January 2013, hearing arguments on April 17, 2013, more than 20 years after the murders. The lawyers for Salinas argued Miranda v. Arizona, and a case called Griffin v. California, both protected his 5th amendment right to remain silent. Griffin v. California specifically brought up how prosecutors can’t use a suspect’s silence as evidence against her or him to the jury. And the Miranda decision, well I have a video about that one so just watch it mmmk? The prosecution for Texas argued, however, that the Fifth Amendment just protected citizens from being forced into incriminating themselves. Salinas was not forced to be there. He volunteered. So basically the question the Court looked at was “Does the Fifth Amendment protect a defendant’s refusal to answer questions to the cops before she or he is read the Miranda warning or is arrested?” The Court said “no.” On June 17, 2013, the Court announced it had sided with Texas, voting 5-4. Those 5 justices all voting against Salinas had different reasons for doing so. Justices Alito, Roberts, and Kennedy all said Salinas had to clearly say he was using his 5th Amendment right to not incriminate himself in order to benefit from it. Justices Thomas and Scalia said well, even if Salinas clearly said he was using his 5th Amendment right, he still wouldn’t have the privilege. Apparently they didn’t like the Miranda or Griffin decisions, either. Justice Breyer wrote the dissent. He argued that Salinas’ silence was all he need to get his Fifth Amendment protections, and warned this decision could further hurt defendants who do not know their rights clearly enough down the road. Salinas v. Texas kind of weakened the self incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment. I mean, now even people who are not suspects have to watch what they say or make sure they claim their right to remain silent, even if they haven’t heard the Miranda warning. Now Americans have to be even more careful when being questioned by the police. But you could argue it did make it easier for prosecutors to do their job, even if less Americans would now be willing to talk to the police. I’ll see you for the next Supreme Court case, jury! That was the follow-up case to Berghuis v. Thompkins That was requested by Matthew Abbitt. Thank you for requesting that. I know he wanted either one of those cases, and I chose the one that was easier to say and a more interesting story. You have the right to remain silent. You could plead the fifth. or you could comment below and let me know Do you agree with the majority or minority on this one? Also a shout out to my newest Patreon supporter, Justin. Thank you! bye

47 thoughts on “Do You Have the Right to Remain Silent? | Salinas v. Texas

  • Project SynTekky Post author

    Hello πŸ‘‹ people! That haven’t watched this yet.

  • Alfie Edwards Post author

    'only' 20 years on jail? in the uk, 16 years is only for the most insanely violent and brutal murders, and the sentence is ALWAYS halfed. a 'life sentence' is only 25, and its always cut too.

  • Matthew Tolentino Post author

    Scalia is my favorite

    fite me

  • poppn Post author

    Great video! Also, will you be doing a series in the future on Supreme Court Justices? Like on the descions they made?

  • VincentGames Nebulous And Civilization Post author


    Yep I said that

  • Chris Nemec Post author

    Very good one. This is one of those very gray areas that l have trouble deciding on. So I'll just agree with the majority.

  • Luke DelVecchio Post author

    You should do profiles of Supreme Court justices

  • thatcoolkidjoey Post author

    Terrible decision by the Supreme Court you shouldn't have to say your invoking your Fifth Amendment right to invoke it I don't know if this is a good example but think if you had to say I'm invoking My First Amendment right to free speech before you said anything controversial or the government could send you to jail for your ideas if they didn't like it

  • The League of Taste & Class Corp. Post author

    I always plead the 5th

  • The Inquisitor Post author

    I do not agree with this. If someone refuses to answer a certain question it doesn't make them guilty. To me this case opened the door for the 5th to influence the jury's decision without substantial evidence this could still lead to guilty verdict.

  • trillz31 Post author

    I agree with the minority vote. Shouldn't have to invoke it to have it.

  • SiVlog Post author

    Thanks Matt, you've done it again πŸ™‚

  • yeah yeah Post author

    Why did you not include his picture?

  • Zachary Henderson Post author

    For the first time in my life I have to say I agree with Justice Breyer. You don't have to declare you're invoking your First Amendment right to religious freedom before praying, or shout to the world that you are invoking your 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms before purchasing a firearm. SURELY, the Fifth Amendment should protect you whether or not the police tell you you have it, and whether or not you said you'd use it.

  • androidaleccc Post author

    Keep up the good work! At least one person is learning new things from your videos.

  • RUSSELL STERN Post author

    Salinas was voluntarily cooperating with police and not yet suspected and displayed behavior that led to his incrimination. At this point there was no need to invoke Miranda rights. Sounds like all the defense could have done was to reject the bullets and guns as evidence. Too much circumstantial evidence in this case anyway. As long as the police did not withhold 4th Amendment rights, the 5th Amendment should not apply here. SCOTUS majority got it right.

  • Darius Johnson Post author

    Your videos are seriously underrated. Keep up the good work

  • John Kilmartin Post author

    I thought the Bill of Rights was supposed to be like a Big Mac ie they come complete so you don't have to ask for onion or lettuce? This decision seems to reward the police for targeting those with mental health problems, poor education or substance abuse problems rather than necessarily the perpetrators of a crime.

  • DOTCurrency Post author

    Build the wall!!!

  • Instagram Lifehacks Post author

    Please do Latvia vs Lithuania comparing video πŸ˜€

  • Luke Detering Post author

    Plessy vs Ferguson

  • Nipun Sharma Post author

    Please could you do London and Dublin compared

  • SwahgiIlitious YT Post author

    Please Do Sweden Vs. Norway, that would be really cool

  • Kevin Froman Post author

    We still need more precedent on if passwords to encryption are 5th amendment protected or not

  • S Plass Post author

    This is a really tough one. I'm not sure if I agree with the majority or the minority here.

  • Max Bergmann Post author

    What time is it

    It's appeal time baby

  • Brown McJuggerNuggets Post author

    Oh boy do I love these briefs!

  • a54109 Post author

    Is the evidence of the shells not enough to convict him?

  • Fanstar1 Gaming Post author

    Hopefully this gets overturned someday.

  • Blitz Of The Reich Post author

    This is crazy scary

  • gg salinas Post author

    I am salinas

  • ARTexplains Science and History Post author

    The 5th amendment should be a passive buff granted to everyone, not an active skill with a cooldown.

  • strider04 Post author

    What shotgun type was it as if it wasn't a too uncomon type then the shells matching the gun would do nothing to help them, i would think

  • JUNGLEsausage Post author

    Do you not think that 20 years is enough? What about Amendment VIII? I am obviously not well-versed in any type of law, but it seems more would be just cruel; especially in American prisons, which I find purely sadistic.

  • John Doe Post author

    I guess the supreme court doesn't know what a right is. so does a police officer have to verbally or in writing claim his right to arrest you before he can arrest you? you know like "Mr Suspect I claim my right to arrest you in the name of the law!, now I can arrest you for breaking X law"
    a right is something you already have, it's not something that you have to claim.

  • Jared Langley Post author

    He could've left at any time. He wasn't detained or arrested. He went down to the police station on his on free will. Only an idiot goes down to a police station and incriminates themselves. I do not see how this weakened the 5th amendment at all.

  • Aidan Buckley Post author

    Hmmmm right along party lines

  • fuge74 Post author

    its like self defense laws, you can stand your ground, but how is it going to look in court if you chase after a burgle firing to kill. I don't think the court would see that as "self defense," without significant proof.

    in the same respect, salines had volunteered, he also remained silent. the context of the situation was enough to infer guilt. his silence was not the key factor in his guilt the fact that the information lined up, was. to put it simply his silence was only good to warrant an investigation, not produce guilt. salinas could not be found guilt because he was silent, he could be found guilty because there was significant physical evidence.

    "he is not talking your honor, we think there is enough here to connect him to the crime, can we get a warrent *gives info about shotgun*"
    "ok *signs warrant*"

    the law is upheld, nor does it conflict with previous rulings.

  • Goldfish I Post author

    I would be curious to know the statistical effects this case created.

  • Jurij Fedorov Post author

    Wow, this is a pure bullshit decision. How the hell can you not have the right to remain silent?

  • To The Truth And Beyond Post author

    Man your countries laws, judicial system and education system is backwards as fark.

  • F L A T L A N D Post author

    I feel a griffin v California coming on.

  • Aaron Bradley Post author

    I'll simply just say if the police ever ask to speak to me again as they did once when they had a picture of the suspect who was about 40 pounds lighter than me and had slightly different color hair. In fact the only thing we had in common is we both wore glasses and we both tended to dress in wife beater type muscle shirts but I had muscles he was just skin and bones. I refuse to go to the station I said I would meet the cop at the coffee shop actually it was Dunkin Donuts LOL. I still don't understand the point of it. I mean the moron of a cop said oh yes the picture looks like you and then on the way out I said well let me see the picture and he showed it to me and I literally laughed in his face. His response was well the other picture looks more like you. SMH. But thank you mister beat now I know next time they ask me to come talk to them my response will be fuck you arrest me if you have the evidence otherwise talk to yourself jitbag. Too bad I don't run in those circles anymore cuz I would love to say that to a cop.

  • Clint Grantham Post author

    Don't talk to the police …… No matter what.

  • eric veneto Post author

    You revealed Scalia and Thomas in the wrong order

  • Somniad Post author

    active surprise

  • Somniad Post author

    Okay, so I looked at this a little more closely, because this was the most surprising result in this series so far, to me. Reading a bit of Alito's writing on this, it seems like Garner v. US could have warranted a mention – with approaching this issue from the other direction in mind, this seems like a much more ambiguous issue. I ultimately disagree with the decision and think that the majority was wrong to choose to approach it from the angle they did, I'm no longer certain that either the majority or the dissent was necessarily legally incorrect.

    I've found that it's very common for this to occur, where supreme court decisions which I disagree with to still be well-considered and reasonable.

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