Bill of Rights: Article V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

I should take the Fifth on this one but since the First Amendment protects me, I will chance some comments.

The first thing that pops into my mind is that the provision concerning double jeopardy turned out to be a screenwriter’s dream (1999 film Double Jeopardy). Having said that, dare I ask if there is any relief in this amendment for the Gitmo detainees? After all the Article starts out with “No person ---”, not “No citizen----”. It seems to me that it may be telling us that no person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law be it civil or military. Just asking.

In a Supreme Court 1833 ruling (Barron v. Baltimore), Chief Justice John Marshall stated that the Fifth Amendment was intended "solely as a limitation on the exercise of power by the government of the United States, and is not applicable to the legislation of the states." I must admit that this ruling confuses me. I guess that is why we have lawyers. I should have taken the Fifth.


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