Eroded liberties 3


Along with the presumption of innocence went the right to silence. People could not be forced to testify against themselves, and had the right to say nothing at all. Juries were not allowed to draw any inference from this, because the rule was that the state had to prove guilt, and not require the accused to prove innocence.

This is another of the eroded liberties which David Davis referred to. The right to silence has been fatally compromised by allowing the prosecution to suggest to juries that they can draw inferences from the accused's failure to speak in their own defence. They should not have to if the burden of proof falls on the state.

One thing the right to silence established was that torture or even just bullying to force confessions was not worthwhile if the accused could simply exercise their right to silence.  The removal of that right weakens the protection which individuals have against malicious and presumptive prosecution.