Civil Disobedience (Thoreau)

The mass of men serve the state […], not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it. A wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be “clay,” and “stop a hole to keep the wind away,” but leave that office to his dust at least […].

Source: Civil Disobedience (Thoreau) – Wikiquote

Oregon v. Mathiason

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Carl Ray Mathiason burglarized a residence. Some 25 days after the crime, the state patrol telephoned Mathiason and asked him to come to the patrol office to talk. Mathiason agreed and came to the station, where he was interrogated for an hour and a half. He was told that he was not under arrest, and no Miranda warnings were given. Mathiason made incriminating statements, after which he was allowed to leave. He was subsequently arrested and convicted. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the conviction, ruling that Miranda warnings should have been given. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed this ruling and held that Mathiason had not been in custody during his voluntary stationhouse interview. The court explained its rationale as follows:

“Police officers are not required to give Miranda warnings to everyone whom they question. Nor is the requirement of warnings to be imposed simply because the questioning takes place in the stationhouse, or because the questioned person is one whom the police suspect. Miranda warnings are required only where there has been such a restriction on a person’s freedom as to render him ‘in custody.'” (Oregon v. Mathiason)