A new outlook on Fifth Amendment rights

And how it applies to corporate investigations.

On Dec. 18, 1992, two Houston brothers were shot and killed. In the weeks following the killings, police brought Genovevo Salinas in for questioning. They charged him with murder in February 1993, but by then he had fled the country; it wasn’t until 2007 that police found Salinas living in Houston under an assumed name and arrested him for the double murder.

At Salinas’ trial, a prosecutor told the jury that Salinas had answered investigators’ questions freely until they asked him whether a shotgun he had voluntarily handed over to police for ballistics testing would match shells police had recovered from the murder scene. At that point Salinas fell silent. “An innocent person” would not have responded like this, the prosecutor told the jury, and instead would have denied his involvement.

Associate Editor

Melissa Maleske

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