What Is “Pleading the Fifth”?
You've probably heard the phrase “I plead the fifth” in the news, but what exactly does that mean? Inside this detailed guide, readers will explore the language, history, and impact of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and come to understand how it has served American citizens since the late 1700s. “Pleading the Fifth” is a phrase sometime used in court to mean “I refuse to answer questions because it might be harmful to myself.” But the Fifth Amendment also protects citizens in other ways, including the right to be heard by a jury. The manageable text is accompanied by primary sources, graphics, fact boxes, and resources for readers to learn even more about this fascinating topic.