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StylinSteelSlatHat @Popehat
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Today's storytime is about the Fifth Amendment, the constitutional provision that says you cannot be compelled to testify against yourself.

Once upon a time, really not that long ago, a prosecutor's office investigated a local government organization.

/1
/2 The prosecutor's office called government employees -- who were represented by an attorney in this investigation -- into the grand jury. The employees, showing an impressive and unusual amount of good sense, asserted their Fifth Amendment rights.
/3 "You can't take the Fifth Amendment to those questions," the prosecutor told the employees, in the grand jury and away from their lawyer.

"If you persist in taking the Fifth we will put you in jail."

The employees yielded and testified.
/4 The employees' lawyer discovered this and was sore vexed. He went to the presiding judge to challenge this and ask for the grand jury transcripts to prove what was happening. Impossible! said the prosecutor. They're secret!
/5 The judge, Solomon-like, said he would review the transcripts himself. He did so. They did, indeed, show the prosecutor telling witnesses to stop taking the Fifth or he'd put them in jail.
/6 The judge was also sore vexed, in the way that judges get sore vexed at prosecutors, which is to say, barely at all. He asked the employees' lawyer what the lawyer wanted, and the lawyer got most of it, including an instruction to make the prosecutors cut that out.
/7 The prosecutors -- one of whom was the prosecutor responsible for giving legal advice to the grand jury -- protested that though the lawyer had cited cases and precedent and such, this was the way their office had always done it, and so, it was correct.
/8 Afterwards, one of the prosecutors was heard to say "I'll have to look further into this Fifth Amendment thing."
/9 This may seem grim, but please fear not for our system. That prosecutor, who threatened witnesses with jail if they exercised their rights, and spurned legal authority based on office practice, isn't a prosecutor any more . . . .
/10 . . . . because now he's a judge.

/end
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