Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 185
[The Right to Remain Silent is a] passionate, far ranging defense of the Fifth Amendment protection of the right to remain silent which goes back to the origins of its systematic violation during the inquisition … and its gradual establishment as a principle of English common law through the struggles of political prisoners such as leveler John Lilbourne. Meltzer extends his examination of the right on through the nonpolitical applications of the Miranda and Esposito decisions, defending it as logical and necessary … against the desire of the police to obtain a confession. Many will be surprised to learn that the much lauded Thomas More was a proponent of the inquisition, and Meltzer's defense of the rights of accused criminals strikes a note of welcome sanity…. Meltzer presents the historical evidence and often relies on his readers to draw the correct conclusions from excerpted testimony; still he covers a lot of ground and those who are able to keep up with him should be well rewarded.
A review of "The Right to Remain Silent," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1972 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XL, No. 16, August 15, 1972, p. 954.