Fifth Amendment Rights: Not Valid Outside the United States Essay

Fifth Amendment Rights: Not Valid Outside the United States Essay

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Are you always entitled to the protections of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment based solely on the fact that you are a citizen of or reside in the United States? The Fifth Amendment only applies to people, citizens or not, who are within the U.S. borders. If every person from the U.S. were entitled to the same constitutional rights outside the borders, as they are within, then the U.S. Government would not be able to use extraordinary rendition to interrogate persons of interest. Also, the U.S. Government would not be able to launch attack missions against their own citizens, whom are in a different country, if they were still protected by the Fifth Amendment. Lastly, people from the U.S. would not be held captive indefinitely, in another country for their alleged crimes, if they still had these protections.
Many people in the U.S. believe that a person is entitled to their constitutional rights no matter where they are. People think that simply because one is a citizen or resident of the U.S. one is automatically given these rights and they cannot be taken away for any reason. Others however, feel that a person should be held accountable for any crimes committed no matter where they go or what the punishment is. People constantly debate on the constitutionality of the actions the U.S. Government has taken against different individuals because of this difference in beliefs.
For example, the Government uses extraordinary rendition to get by with using interrogation methods that are not permitted under the U.S. law. According to The New York Times article titled “Rendition, Torture and Accountability” published on November 19, 2007(editorial), extraordinary rendition is “America’s notorious program of outsourcing int...


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...en to you by one country when you are being detained in another. The U.S. soldiers faced this same scenario during the Vietnam War, when they were held as POWs. These soldiers were held captive, subject to extreme living conditions, and tortured. They were not able to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights while they were being held captive. If these soldiers, who were protecting the United States, were not entitled to their Fifth Amendment rights, do you think that you will be entitled to yours in a foreign country?



Works Cited

New York Times article "Rendition, Torture and Accountability" published November 19, 2007

New York Times article "North Korea Prepares to Indict American" by Mark McDonald published April 17, 2011

Chicago Tribune article "A Terrorist's Due-U.S. Citizenship is not a Shield from Consequences of War" published on October 6, 2011

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