Dershowitz on the Right to Silence

dershowitz_silent.pngAlan M. Dershowitz, that prolific (some would say prolix) law prof, publicity hound and sometime proponent of torture, has published his third book this year: Is There A Right To Remain Silent? Coercive Interrogation and the Fifth Amendment After 9/11. It gets a good review in the New York Times from Johnathon Mahler, who finds the book for the mostpart accessible by lay readers and, where it becomes dense with constitutional law, worth pushing ahead even so.

The description on the Oxford University Press page says this of the book:

…Dershowitz puts forward a bold reinterpretation of the Fifth Amendment for the post-9/11 world. As the world we live in changes from a “deterrent state” to the heightened vigilance of today’s “preventative state,” our construction, he argues, must also change. We must develop a jurisprudence that will contain both substantive and procedural rules for all actions taken by government officials in order to prevent harmful conduct-including terrorism.


  1. Although I haven’t read Dershowitz’s book, I’m skeptical of any proponents of torture.

    The 5th Ammendment is not the only legal issue surrounding torture. And numerous studies have demonstrated that it has a propenstiy to provide false information and induce wrongful convictions.

    As Lawrence Gridin said in his review of Taxi to the Dark Side, cases like Abu Ghraib are hardly cases of a few bad apples.

  2. “(some would say prolix) law prof, publicity hound and sometime proponent of torture”

    Remind me not to let you do my eulogy or introduce me at a speaking event… ;)