It is a well-established and fundamental principle of justice that no one may be compelled to subject himself to punishments nor to give evidence leading to that result. Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum is an ancient maxim. It was written directly into the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, which states that in all "criminal prosecutions" no one can "be compelled to give evidence against himself." This idea was also incorporated into the United States Constitution in 1791 through the fifth amendment.

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Evidence Commons