Origins of the Fifth Amendment

Origins of the Fifth Amendment : The Right Against Self-incrimination

4.25 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 129.54 x 198.12 x 33.02mm | 566.99g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0195013565
  • 9780195013566

Review Text

No part of the Constitution in recent years has been the subject of so much, and such vehement, controversy as that injunction of the Fifth Amendment according to which "No person...shall be compelled in any Criminal Case to be a witness against himself." Yet, there has not been a single authoritative and comprehensive work on the evolution of the right definitively enunciated in that Amendment. Now, Professor Levy, Chairman of the Department of History at Brandeis, more than satisfies this need in this monumental investigation of the concepts, events - and accidents - that have shaped the right that is now synonymous with the Fifth Amendment itself. The story he tells begins before the Magna Carts but reaches its high point in the England of the Tudors and of the early Stuarts, in the struggle against such arbitrary procedures as the infamous Star Chamber and of the forum ecclesiasticum. The echo of these conflicts between Catholic and Protestant, King and Parliament, Anglican and Puritan, and absolutism and constitutional government, made itself heard in colonial America centuries after the fact, and it was largely due to the memory of such conflicts that the subject right was established in one of the Amendments. The view of the framers of that Amendment, Professor Levy is careful to point out, was that it is less important that the guilty be punished than that the accused not be forced to contribute to his conviction. And the justification of that view in the light of history is not the least of the author's accomplishments. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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12 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
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4 17% (2)
3 17% (2)
2 8% (1)
1 0% (0)
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