Three months after oral arguments, the Supreme Court dismissed the writ of certiorari in City of Hays v. Vogt as improvidently granted. The question in Vogt was whether the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is violated when incriminating statements are used at a probable cause hearing, as opposed to a criminal trial. As a result of the “DIG,” the Court left a circuit split unresolved surrounding the meaning of a “criminal case” within the Fifth Amendment’s Self-Incrimination Clause.
This note argues that the Supreme Court should not have dismissed Vogt and should have decided that the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination is a broad right not limited to trial. Historical evidence signals that the Framers of the Constitution meant for the Self-Incrimination Clause to apply beyond the trial stage. Further, when a self-incriminating statement is used at a probable cause hearing, it can effectively deprive the individual of life, liberty, and property, implicating the Fourteenth Amendment. While some circuits narrowly define a criminal case as a criminal trial, other circuit courts have broadened the right against self-incrimination to a variety of pre-trial proceedings. The Supreme Court should set clear and consistent precedent concerning the right against self-incrimination and should establish that the Fifth Amendment protects individuals at probable cause hearings.
Clarifying the Scope of the Self-Incrimination Clause: City of Hays v. Vogt,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol94/iss1/7