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Salinas v. Texas

United States Supreme Court
570 U.S. ___ (2013)


Facts

Salinas (defendant) agreed to go to the police station to answer questions about a murder. Salinas was not in custody and thus was not given Miranda warnings. Salinas answered a number of questions, but was then asked if his shotgun would match the shells at the scene of the murder. Salinas did not answer, but rather “looked down at the floor, shuffled his feet, bit his bottom lip, and clenched his hands in his lap.” Salinas was charged with the murder, and at trial the prosecution used Salinas’s reaction to the question as evidence that he was guilty. Salinas objected to the prosecutor’s use of his silence, arguing that it violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. [After Salinas was convicted and unable to obtain relief at state level], the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

Dissent (Breyer, J.)

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