Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Argument: The Fifth Amendment prohibits using Mr. Valdez’s refused passcode disclosure as evidence of guilt. It is settled law that the State cannot raise a criminal defendant’s silence as evidence of their guilt. The words of the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against compelled self-incrimination should be given their plain meaning. The Fourteenth Amendment’s history is useful guidance when considering an amendment’s curative purpose. The Fifth Amendment’s own language demonstrates the Self-Incrimination Clause’s only limitation is that it is reserved for criminal cases. The State’s search warrant authority does not override a defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights.
Brief of Amici CuriaeAmerican Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Argument: Compelling a criminal suspect to disclose a passcode is testimony privileged by the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment prohibits compelled disclosure of the contents of a suspect’s mind. Compelled disclosure of the passcode is testimonial. The Fifth District properly declined to apply the foregone-conclusion rationale in this case. The Foregone-conclusion analysis applies only to the production of specified, preexisting business records. Even if the foregone-conclusion rationale could apply in this context, the state must describe with reasonable particularity the incriminating files it seeks. Law enforcement has alternative methods of accessing encrypted devices.