Committee Approves Measure to Protect Fifth Amendment Right (unlawful to refuse to answer questions)
HARRISBURG – A measure repealing a section of the state’s Game and Wildlife Code that violates an individual’s right against self-incrimination was unanimously approved by the House Game and Fisheries Committee today, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint), chairman of the committee.
A section of the code that deals with the destruction of game for agricultural protection states that it is unlawful to refuse to answer, without evasion, any pertinent question pertaining to the killing or wounding of any game or wildlife when questioned by a representative of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
“This is in clear violation of a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and must be corrected immediately,” Causer said. “This conflict was brought to our attention when this section of the law was applied recently in a case against a central Pennsylvania man during an investigation about the possible illegal killing of a deer. He successfully fought the charge, but it should never have been brought in the first place.”
House Bill 2199 repeals this section of the Game and Wildlife Code. The bill now goes to the full House for its consideration.