In February, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case which sheds light on whether or not the prosecution can legally use a defendant’s previously-obtained incriminating statement as evidence at a preliminary or probable cause hearing; the Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether or not this violates a person’s fifth amendment.
The fifth amendment of our constitution guarantees that “no person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against him or herself”. The main issue, in this case, is that if the Fifth Amendment is violated when a criminal defendant is compelled to incriminate himself, should the statement be allowed as evidence in a probable cause hearing?
The case, City of Hays, Kansas v. Vogt, is a case that will challenge the scope of the fifth amendment self-incrimination clause. The defendant in the case, Matthew Vogt, was a police officer in Hays, Kansas, but was in the interview process with the police department in another town, Haysville. During the interview process, Vogt disclosed that he had kept a knife that he obtained while working for the City of Hays.