Fifth Amendment

We’ve finished the original Constitution and are now looking at the amendments. Today, we’ll consider the Fifth Amendment.

This post is part of a series that will make more sense if it is read in order. If you haven’t read the earlier posts in this series, please click here to start with the first one. One reason I’ve broken this series into fairly small parts is that we have a tendency to rush through reading the Constitution and miss a lot of it. I hope the readers of this series will ponder the points in each session. I also hope you will comment on each post as we go along.

Throughout this series on the Constitution, my comments will be in black normal font, and the text of the document will be in this color and italicized.


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 offence 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.

The corrupt kings and other governments in Europe frequently had people imprisoned with little or no reason. It was also common for people to be tortured into confessing crimes, whether they committed them or not. Nobles and royalty were bad about just usurping people’s property for their own benefit, too. These are the reasons behind this amendment. We all get upset when some criminal gets off on a technicality and cannot be retried because of “double jeopardy,” but we would lead precarious lives without such protections.


Benjamin Franklin, exiting Constitutional Convention:

“We’ve given you a republic, if you can keep it.”


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

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Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.


About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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3 Responses to Fifth Amendment

  1. Sharon K. Walker says:

    Amen for the approval of the 5th amendment. It is vitally important for protecting people’s rights.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh – can you say Salem Witch Trials? If you don’t confess to being a witch, we’ll just keep calling you one and kill you anyway. Where was this amendment then?

    Of course with this whole Brock Turner debacle, I have no more faith in the justice system either so, I guess it’ll just be a free for all. I left the legal profession after 30 years because of asswipe judge’s like Mr. Turner’s.

    Anyway, I’ll stop ranting now.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like the rest of our government, our judicial system is totally broken.In my opinion we’ve reached a new low this year with a choice between a socialist serial killer and an egomaniac whose positions no one can nail down. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!


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