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The Fifth Amendment, as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, is not violated by the use of prearrest silence to impeach a criminal defendant's credibility. While the Fifth Amendment prevents the prosecution from commenting on the silence of a defendant who asserts the right to remain silent during his criminal trial, it is not violated when a defendant who testifies in his own defense is impeached with his prior silence. Impeachment follows the defendant's own decision to cast aside his cloak of silence and advances the truthfinding function 

of the criminal trial. Cf. Raffel v. United States, 271 U. S. 494; Harris v. New York, 401 U. S. 222; Brown v. United States, 356 U. S. 148. Pp. 447 U. S. 235-238.


The Fifth Amendment guarantees an accused the right to remain silent during his criminal trial, and prevents the prosecution from commenting on the silence of a defendant who asserts the right. Griffin v. California, 380 U. S. 609, 380 U. S. 614 (1965). 


Raffel v. United States, 271 U. S. 494 (1926), recognized that the Fifth Amendment is not violated when a defendant who testifies in his ...

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