Advertisement

The Fifth Amendment: Self-Incrimination and the Brain

  • Marc Jonathan Blitz
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Law, Neuroscience, and Human Behavior book series (PASTLNHB)

Abstract

This Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination clause has been at the center of constitutional discussions over neuroimaging’s future. That it is not because it clearly would apply to neuroimaging – but rather because neuroimaging raises a easily formulated (albeit difficult to answer) Fifth Amendment puzzle: It seems to count as both of what are supposed to be two mutually exclusive categories in Fifth Amendment law, because it is both like a witness statement (or “testimonial”) and like physical evidence such as blood flow or other physiological processes. This chapter explores various solutions scholars have proposed to this puzzle, rooted in distinctive theories of the self-incrimination clause – and the unanswered questions each of these theories raises. It also emphasizes another point that has received less attention in discussions of self-incrimination and neuroimaging: idea that Fifth Amendment protection for our thoughts and other mental process should perhaps sometimes cover the biology underlying that thinking even when government plausibly claims it wants access to it for reasons other than inferring our thoughts or beliefs.

Keywords

Fifth Amendment Mind reading Neuroimaging Self-incrimination Testimonial Witness 

References

  1. Allen, R. J., & Mace, K. M. (2004). The Self-Incrimination Clause Explained and Its Future Predicted. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 94, 243–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amar, A. R., & Lettow, R. B. (1995). Fifth Amendment First Principles: The Self-Incrimination Clause. Michigan Law Review, 93, 857–928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brennan-Marquez, K. (2012–13). A Modest Defense of Mind-Reading. Yale Journal of Law and Technology, 15, 214–272.Google Scholar
  4. Clark, A., & Chalmers David, J. (2008). The Extended Mind. In A. Clark (Ed.), Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and the Cognitive Experience. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Farahany, N. A. (2012a). Incriminating Thoughts. Stanford Law Review, 64, 351–408.Google Scholar
  6. Fox, D. (2009). The Right to Silence as Protecting Mental Control. Akron Law Review, 42, 763.Google Scholar
  7. Holloway, M. B. (2008). One Image, One Thousand Incriminating Words. Temple Journal of Science, Technology & Environmental Law, 27, 141–174.Google Scholar
  8. Kerr, O. S. (2016, September 9). Thoughts on the Third Circuit’s Decryption and Self-incrimination Oral Argument. The Volokh Conspiracy. Washington Post.Google Scholar
  9. Lacy, J. W., & Stark, E. L. (2013, September). The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom. Natural Reviews Neuroscience, 14(9), 649–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Pardo, M. S. (2006). Neuroscience Evidence, Legal Culture, and Criminal Procedure. American Journal of Criminal Law, 33, 301–337.Google Scholar
  11. Pardo, M. S. (2008). The Self-Incrimination Clause and the Epistemology of Testimony. Cardozo Law Reviews, 30, 1023–1045.Google Scholar
  12. Pardo, M. S., & Patterson, D. (2013). Minds, Brains and Law: The Conceptual Foundations of Law and Neuroscience. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pustilnik, A. C. (2013). Neurotechnologies at the Intersection of Criminal Procedure and Constitution Law. In S. Richardson & J. Parry (Eds.), The Constitution and the Future of Criminal Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Schulhofer, S. (1991). Some Kind Words for the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination. Valparaiso University Law Review, 26, 311–336.Google Scholar
  15. Stoller, S. E., & Wolpe, P. R. (2007). Emerging Technologies for Lie Detection and the Fifth Amendment. American Journal of Law and Medicine, 33(2/3), 359–374.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Stuntz, W. J. (1988). Self-Incrimination and Excuse. Columbia Law Review, 88, 1227–1296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Stuntz, W. J. (1995). Privacy’s Problem and the Law of Criminal Procedure. Michigan Law Review, 93, 1016–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Thompson, S. K. (2007). A Brave New World of Interrogation Jurisprudence. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 33, 341–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Jonathan Blitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Oklahoma City University School of LawOklahoma CityUSA

Personalised recommendations