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Don't Talk to the Police

by Professor James Duane of Regent Law School in Virginia

27 min - May 21, 2008. James Duane explains why innocent people should never talk to the police.

Some Notes

  1. Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless he or she is onpresentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  2. "Any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances." - Supreme Court Justice Robert Houghwout Jackson was United States Attorney General (1940–1941) and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954). He was also the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49 (1949). 338 U.S. 49
  3. In about 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty. Source: http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/False-Confessions.php
  4. Eddie Joe Lloyd: Lloyd was convicted of the 1984 murder of a 16-year-old girl in Detroit after he wrote to police with suggestions on how to solve various recent crimes. During several interviews, police fed details of the crime to Lloyd, who was mentally ill, and convinced him that by confessing he was helping them “smoke out” the real killer. Lloyd eventually signed a confession and gave a tape-recorded statement. The jury deliberated less than an hour before convicting him and the judge said at sentencing that execution, which had been outlawed in Michigan, would have been the “only justifiable sentence” if it were available. In 2002, DNA testing proved that Lloyd was innocent and he was exonerated. As mandated in a settlement with Lloyd’s family, Detroit Police officials said in 2006 they would start videotaping all interrogations in crimes that could carry a sentence of life. Source: http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/False-Confessions.php
  5. "One of the Fifth Amendment's basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker's own mouth." Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17 (2001)
  6. "Too many, even those who should be better advised, view this privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury in claiming the privilege." Ullmann v. United States, 350 U.S. 422,426 (1956)

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  • The Other Side of the Story by Officer George Bruch - 21 min - May 21, 2008: George Bruch from the Virginia Beach police department responds to Professor James Duane's presentation on why innocent people should never talk to the police.

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