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djasonpenney
10-20-2008, 11:51 AM
Entertaining and important, even though it's long...

part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik&feature=related) (30 minutes)

part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE&NR=1) (20 minutes)

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-20-2008, 12:44 PM
That's a fascinating lecture, isn't it?

It makes one marvel that most people have no idea about the nature of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Then, when one examines our other civil rights, one realizes that this state of knowledge is typical of all our rights, with the possible exception of free expression.

jr98664
10-20-2008, 08:52 PM
For those of use too busy to sit down and watch the lecture for 50 minutes, would someone be able to paraphrase it?

t27
10-21-2008, 07:40 AM
That's a fascinating lecture, isn't it?

It makes one marvel that most people have no idea about the nature of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Then, when one examines our other civil rights, one realizes that this state of knowledge is typical of all our rights, with the possible exception of free expression.

“free expression” – haha. I suspect someone is making fun of those who are concerned with their rights, but not enough to actually read the text of the constitution.

djasonpenney
10-21-2008, 09:39 AM
James Duane, a law professor from Regent Law School (Virginia Beach, I think?) gave this lecture around 2008-06-10. This YouTube video has a five-star rating. I would kill to get college professors who give such entertaining and informative lectures.

I will attempt to recap the two parts, but...I warn you in advance...I'm not going to do justice to these lectures. You should take the time to listen, because it's a hoot and will impress the points very strongly.

With that caveat....

I think the entire pair of lectures is well summed up in one of Mr. Duane's slides:

Ullmann vs US 350 US 422, 426 (1956):

"Too many, even those who should be better advised, view this [fifth amendment] privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of a crime or commit perjury in claiming the privilege."
Duane's opening remarks:

Never talk to any police officer under any circumstances.
The fifth amendment is not just for criminals.
Even a former attorney general to the US has recommended this.
The reasoning for this is surprising and counter-intuitive.
If an officer is mistaken in your statements, it can change a he-said you-said case into a he-said officer-said you-said case.
The complexity of law and factual circumstances makes it nigh impossible to know in advance what statements might be incriminating.


Why You Should Not Talk to the Police


There is no way it can help you.

You can't talk your way out of being arrested.
You can't give any evidence that will help you at trial.
What you say is only admissable as evidence against you.

If you are guilty (or even if you are innocent), you may admit your guilt with no benefit in return.

What's the rush?
In federal court, 86% of all defendants admit guilt before trial.
Your statement to the police may be a basis for conviction all by itself, even if the officer is later indisposed.

Even if you are innocent and deny your guilt and mostly tell the truth, you can easily get carried away and tell a little lie or make a little factual mistake that will hang you.
Even if you are innocent and only tell the truth, you will always give the police some information that can be used to help convict you.
Even if you are innocent and only tell the truth and do not tell the police anything incriminating, there is still a grave chance that your answers can be used to crucify you if the police do not recall your statements with 100% accuracy.
Even if you are innocent and only tell the truth and do not tell the police anything incriminating and your statement is videotaped, your answers may be used to crucify you if the police do not recall their questions with 100% accuracy.
Even if you are innocent and only tell the truth and do not tell the police anything incriminating and the entire interview is videotaped, your answers can still be used to crucify you if the police have any evidence, even mistaken or unreliable evidence, that any of your statements is false.


Next, a third year law student (a Virginia Beach detective with 28 years of experience) gets up and talks about the police interview process. He points out that most "interviews" overseas start "physically"; there's no such thing as "police abuse" over there.


People are inherently honest and that's their biggest downfall.
People (clients) are stupid (will do foolish things.)
The interview process is inherently unfair and unbalanced.

You want to leave.
The officer gets paid $58 per hour in overtime.
The officer has done thousands of interviews.
The officer's job is to gather evidence for a conviction, not to prove your innocence.

The interview process (typical steps)

Start with Miranda warning.
"Let me tell you what I know..."
"Now that you know what I know, do you want to talk to me?"
"Let me tell you the difference between a lie and a truth..." (Truth may reduce sentence. It will not avert a conviction.)
Officer will use your personality to get you to open up (commiseration, sympathy, sometimes just the silent treatment).
Videotapes work. Officer turns it off and says "off the record...". Everything in the interview room is recorded (there is a second system.)
If you talk to the police, everything gets written down.

Every phone call to the police has a listening device. In most places only one party (the police) needs to know that a conversation is being recorded.
The police do not need a recording in court to admit a statement as evidence. It's the officer's word against yours, and juries will believe the officer. A tape is not required and may be destroyed before trial.
The Three Strikes

The jury sees you sitting as a defendant, so they're inclined to believe you did something wrong to be sitting there.
The policeman/detective is a professional witness. He's done this before, he's comfortable giving testimony, and there is a tendency by the jury to trust authority.
The policeman/detective reads a confession from his notes. "Get your orange jumpsuit, do not pass go, do not collect $200."

Police are allowed to lie during interviews.
Great interview lie: "The victim is really angry. Would you write an apology letter?" This is a confession in your own handwriting. (Talk about stupid!)

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-21-2008, 10:22 AM
“free expression” – haha. I suspect someone is making fun of those who are concerned with their rights, but not enough to actually read the text of the constitution.

Not exactly. It's a term used to capture both speech and assembly.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-21-2008, 10:28 AM
James Duane, a law professor from Regent Law School (Virginia Beach, I think?) gave this lecture around 2008-06-10...

Holy Cow, Jason! That about sums it up. With outlining skills like that, you should go to law school...

I particularly like his point how the right against self-incrimination has come to be seen by most people (read: Republicans) as "special rights for criminals." This view is held with respect to most of the rights in the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments that deal with criminal procedure.

Ever since I learned Constitutional law I have been fascinated with how little people understand about their fundamental rights and how it impacts the way our society runs (e.g., it's easy to convict an innocent person of a felony).

toddistic
10-21-2008, 02:05 PM
Interesting outline, I'm going to watch it when I get home tonight!

jr98664
10-21-2008, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the summary. Now I really want to find the time to watch it.