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I came across an interesting piece on slashdot this morning that fits with many of the discussions we've had here regarding talking to the police and how to handle the things after an incident. The slashdot piece references two articles (link here and here) discussing a situation where a person was convicted of murder and how their refusal to answer questions was used against them.

A couple of salient points from the article(s):
During police questioning - but before he was arrested or read his Miranda rights - Salinas answered questions for more than an hour. He did not answer, however, when police asked him if the six shells found at the scene would match a shotgun found in his home. Instead, he looked down at the floor, bit his lip and "began to tighten up." After a few moments of silence, the police moved on to other questions, which Salinas answered, the opinion states.
Prosecutors argued such silence does not have constitutional protection because of the other questions Salinas had answered and since he was not under arrest and was not compelled to speak.
This was further upheld in SCOTUS rulings that one must explicitly invoke their right to remain silent and simply remaining mum does not satisfy this requirement and how instead it may be perceived as failure to cooperate, making the situation worse.

While I know this subject has been beaten to death, it still serves as an important reminder (and especially so for the many newbies to the forum), how important it is to have your after the action plan, which should generally include a brief statement of how you were forced to defend yourself, pointing out key pieces of evidence and witnesses, saying you will cooperate and make a statement after you have had a chance to speak with your legal counsel.

The other major point to this is (also a subject that has been talked about several times) that (excessively) talking to the police and answering questions, even when not being detained is usually not in your best interests.
 

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This was further upheld in SCOTUS rulings that one must explicitly invoke their right to remain silent and simply remaining mum does not satisfy this requirement and how instead it may be perceived as failure to cooperate, making the situation worse.
Huh. SCOTUS actually judges the right to remain silent as demanding speech to proclaim that right, instead of that right existing in silence? B.S. This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me hate so-called "judges" who wordsmith and engage in semantic juggling to the point that concepts have no meaning to them.

The other major point to this is (also a subject that has been talked about several times) that (excessively) talking to the police and answering questions, even when not being detained is usually not in your best interests.
:yup:

All too often, it turns out the investigating/arresting folks are most interested in closing the case, instead of finding justice. Combined with the courts and DA's being in on the scheme, in such cases, it's a major reason why Lady Justicia* wears a blindfold ... out of sheer embarrassment over what it's all become.

* Thanks, O.
 

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Lady Liberty wears no blindfold...

Justicia (Lady Justice) the Roman Goddess of justice (Equivalent to Greek Goddess, Dike) does wear a blindfold.
 

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Lady Liberty wears no blindfold...

Justicia (Lady Justice) the Roman Goddess of justice (Equivalent to Greek Goddess, Dike) does wear a blindfold.
Oops. Knew what I meant. Figgered folks knew what I meant. (As you did / but which I failed to double-check prior to posting. Ah well.)
 

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The Police are not asking you questions because they want to get your life story, they suspect you of something. So no good can come from you answering ANY questions. Don't fool yourself into thinking that if you just clear up a few misconceptions that you will be free to go, it rarely works that way. The only answer you should ever give is "I don't answer questions and I want my lawyer".
 

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A lawyer once told me police are like " Fishermen" they throw a big net out and maybe catch you in it. Once they have you in it . It is your job to wiggle out . So he told me not to say nothing at any time but be polite .
 

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I found that ruling very troublesome. I'm concerned that it will be the first of many that whittle away
some essential protections. I do think this particular case was an odd one on which to make major tweaks to the law.
 
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This is bad news. We shouldn't have to verbally declare God given rights. I thought the Constitution explained that pretty well, but then again I don't have an Ivy League law education.
 

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Per my attorney my reply would be "I want to cooperate but I've just been through a traumatic experiance and am not thinking clearly. I do not wish to make a statement until after I've confered with my attorney".

Nuff said.
I like that keep on saying it over and over
 

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See THAT's why the NSA can snoop on us. We have to declare our rights to privacy at the beginning of each text message, e-mail or phone call.


I can't believe Scalia had a part in that decision. :frown: (Kind of perplexed about his siding against the states in the voting/citizen thing too)
 
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As my attorney, Mortimer Saul Goldensmith, instructs (in a thick, gravely, Brooklyn accent), "DON'T SAY NUTHIN'!!! I'll be right there."

In fact, it's a good idea to have Moray on the phone when the law arrives, so you can let him speak for you immediately.
 

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This is bad news. We shouldn't have to verbally declare God given rights. I thought the Constitution explained that pretty well, but then again I don't have an Ivy League law education.
These "judges" have educated themselves well enough to be able to twist things beyond all recognition (in the classic FUBAR sense of the word). And they're in the paid employ of the political-agenda machine in the swamp (aka, Washington DC) over yonder. They are no longer recognizing the simple, straightforward truth of things.

Instead, and IMO this is a perfect case in point, they recognize the underlying agenda necessary, and they're finding some way to spoon-feed pap to the mob so that they'll swallow it without whining too much. Sadly, I think that's becoming more of their practical job description. They're sworn to dispassionately and apolitically judge and interpret the truths of the Constitution and questions that are presented in conflict with its guiding principles. They are not supposed to prostitute themselves and break their oaths at every opportunity for the political machine over the hill, at our expense.

And if there's any mistake on that score, we have a specific duty and responsibility to remain as non-silent about that sort of crap as anything we've got going. Time to shake the tree a bit, to force the rotten apples to the ground, methinks. :mad:
 

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Per my attorney my reply would be "I want to cooperate but I've just been through a traumatic experiance and am not thinking clearly. I do not wish to make a statement until after I've confered with my attorney".

Nuff said.
Uh... You're attorney may be a smarter person than I and is obviously fluent in the law given said professional title, but I would leave out that "not thinking clearly" part out of the statement. That just has bad written ALL OVER IT. I can see any prosecutor worth their salt taking that statement to task and it isn't going to end well...
 

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I found that ruling very troublesome. I'm concerned that it will be the first of many that whittle away
some essential protections. I do think this particular case was an odd one on which to make major tweaks to the law.
I don't know which part is more disturbing...the actual ruling, or that the justices I would typically expect that from are the only ones dissenting on it...

Snippet of the dissent from Justice Breyer(emphasis added):
At the Supreme Court, Divisions and Signs of Trouble to Come - Andrew Cohen - The Atlantic
ANDREW COHENJUN 17 2013, 4:37 PM ET
While the Court's five conservatives differed on how to deprive Salinas of his constitutional rights, the Court's four liberal justices spoke with one voice. To Justice Stephen Breyer, the exchange between Salinas and the police was not a friendly chat. "The context was that of a criminal investigation," he wrote. "Police told Salinas that and made clear that he was a suspect. His interrogation took place at the police station. Salinas was not represented by counsel. The relevant question -- about whether the shotgun from Salinas' home would incriminate him -- amounted to a switch in subject matter. And it was obvious that the new question sought to ferret out whether Salinas was guilty of murder."

In these circumstances, the dissenters concluded, it was manifestly unconstitutional to allow prosecutors at trial to inform jurors that Salinas has failed or refused to answer that single question. Justice Breyer wrote:

To permit a prosecutor to comment on a defendant's constitutionally protected silence would put that defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent. If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances -- even if he is innocent. If he remains silent, the prosecutor may well use that silence to suggest a consciousness of guilt.

And if the defendant then takes the witness stand in order to explain either his speech or his silence, the prosecution may introduce, say for impeachment purposes, a prior conviction that the law would otherwise make inadmissible. Thus, where the Fifth Amendment is at issue, to allow comment on silence directly or indirectly can compel an individual to act as "a witness against himself " -- very much what the Fifth Amendment forbids.
 

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I've pleaded the 5th at home a few times...it didn't get me much protection there either.
It worked once for me. The question posed by my wife was, "Am I always this bitchy?"

There's no possible safe (or correct) answer to that question, so I pled the fifth.
 

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I will be glad to answer your questions as soon as I've been able to talk to my attorney and have him present during any questioning.

I'm not refusing to answer any questions, just refusing to answer them until I've spoken with my attorney and he's present.
 

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I don't know which part is more disturbing...the actual ruling, or that the justices I would typically expect that from are the only ones dissenting on it...
The "law and order" guys seldom see a government action they won't approve. That is one reason it is folly to
rely on the law and order conservative justices to protect 2A rights against government interference.

They also seldom see a corporate behavior they can't rationalize.

With respect to Miranda, it must also be noted that this is still relatively new case law, a few decades, and before that
the police were quite free to beat a confession out of someone over a period of hours or days. Many "law and order" folks
intensely disliked Miranda because they thought it would hamper police in their duty to solve crimes.

It didn't. But anyway, now the supremes are treading a bit backwards toward the old days and old ways. It wont' end well.
 
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