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Join the conversation! There are now 21 comments on “Convict Yourself pg 98
  1. zyu says

    PI looks like she just bit into some nice white chocolate habanero cookies.

  2. Esurnir says

    Maaaaan is there anything the cops can’t do?

    • They can’t force you to incriminate yourself against your will, normally. However, their primary job is to protect and serve the population. While that includes people who commit crimes, they don’t have a greater duty to protect people who commit crimes than they have to people who don’t. When there are others’ lives in clear and present danger I imagine there’s a lot more leeway.

      • Actually, I think according to Warren v. District of Columbia, police don’t have a constitutional duty to protect people from harm. Isn’t that wonderful…

        • Which is actually reasonable, because otherwise every time someone DID get harmed, they could sue the police for failing to prevent that harm. (I think.)

          • Police are not bodyguards. They handle crimes after they’re committed, not before. If you know or strongly suspect a crime is going to happen, you should take steps to defend yourself. Requiring police to do it would be a strong step towards a police state.

            • And it doesn’t even work. The UK has wholeheartedly embraced the idea that people should rely on the police to keep them safe, and what do we get for it? Just one of the highest violent crime rates in the world, that’s all. Far higher than the US or most of Europe. Sure, we don’t compare to places like Mexico or Honduras, but that isn’t really saying much, is it?

              • You might have a higher violent crime rate than the US — I’m not certain.

                But your murder rate is about one quarter of the US’s rate.

                Personally, and I understand this may be a “grass is always greener” thing, but I would rather live in a place with more violence but fewer deaths than vice versa.

                And depending on laws, the US’s violent crime rate, if judged using UK laws, may be higher. The US has some comparatively lax laws on using violence in defense. Some of those situations may not be reported as violent crimes in the US, but might have been judged as violent crimes using another country’s definition.

                When we compare violent crime rates, the UK reports their numbers relative to their own laws, and the US reports their numbers relative to their laws. I feel the gap may be wider for something like the violent crimes category than it is for murder.

              • This is wrong because the commonly reported figure for the violent crime rate in the US, the FBI’s, apparently includes only “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault”. The UK’s, on the other hand, includes ALL crimes against the person.

    • Yes. If you’re a multi-millionaire they can’t send you to prison. Doubly true if you’re a mediocre athlete on a mediocre football team and all you did was nearly kill your fiance.

      • What I think you are getting at is the perception that there ‘justice can be bought’. The issue with this is not that the government can’t or won’t prosecute people with money or power, but rather that the rich and powerful are the most able to defend themselves.

        Think about it: How many lawyers do you know? Many people who are multimillionaires know a few, even if only to insure that the trust fund is set up correctly. They also don’t have to worry about paying the lawyer or costs accrued.

        That gives them a immediate advantage over Joe Baltimore, who is limited by knowledge and scope in the face of professional law enforcement.

        This leads to a dilemma in law enforcement, as you never want to risk your one shot on a criminal until you are pretty sure it’s going to go your way. Rush in early, the guy walks and suddenly the newspapers can’t stop talking about how you’re hounding and persecuting this poor pillar of the community.

        That said, when that evidence comes around and the case is solid, everyone from the beat cop to the prosecutor become bulldogs. They want it as bad or more than most folk, especially given the hours of their lives they poured into making it happen.

        This is further compounded by the fact that in most cases, prosecutions take forever to complete and are dull and humdrum. Local papers may pick up the story, but if there isn’t something sensational it doesn’t go any further. Doubly so if it’s a white collar crime like bid rigging.

        The UBS bid rigging case is a good example of this effect, as it took so long and was so dry that outside of financial and legal circle the public just didn’t care. And that was a case that took a decade of work because it involved co-defendants such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo, Bank of America Corp., General Electric Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Société Générale SA.

        In closing, I counter your absolutism with some examples of rich people in trouble with the law and ‘a mediocre athlete on a mediocre football team’ being punished for the attempted murder of his girlfriend.

        Wikipedia.org|Allen_Stanford

        Bloomberg|Ukraine Billionaire Arrested in Vienna on FBI Warrant

        Wikipedia|Rae_Carruth

  3. Esurnir says

    My guess, the bomb is in, the heist isn’t. Because once he was in the cop car and they found the bomb, the emergency stopped.

    • So, here’s a question:

      Does the emergency exemption just cover details relevant to the emergency, or does it cover questions asked during the emergency?

      I assume a judge could throw out the evidence if he felt the officers abused the exemption. But suppose Chase had said something to the tune of “Oh man, I’ll never see my share…” Is the officer allowed to ask a question if the suspect mentions details obviously unrelated to the danger at hand?

      In the same vein, how solid is the standard of delineating between the emergency exemption and a traditional interrogation?

      • The questioning has to be about the emergency. More on next page.

        As to what the standard is, that’ll be covered on the next page (I hope). It’s pretty easy.

        Aside: It can get hard if the emergency is one that’s never-ending, because the law hasn’t really decided that yet. (Because thank goodness it hasn’t come up that much.) I’m not going to confuse things by discussing that kind of situation. But for the emergencies that police usually encounter, the standard is pretty clear.

  4. SomeGuy says

    I’m guessing that “under the law” the police officer doesn’t count as having threatened to break Chase’s wrist? Anybody but a cop and I’d be certain the question and proximity to spiral fracture were related.

    • If the officer had said, “Tell me or I’ll break your wrist”, then yeah, most likely. But really, that’s just a basic wristlock used to immobilize a person. A bit painful, but hardly the unbearable pain that would be coercive (unless you struggle).

    • I the suspect attempted to remove the officer with brute force, his wrist would have broken. The hold works (with few broken wrists) because people instinctively know the wrist can’t take much strain along that direction.

      The hold itself is a threat that if you struggle, your wrist will break. What’s questionable is the threat’s relation to the question.

      When Batman leans a crook over a railing to question him, the criminal is certain they can’t continue fighting, but are they safe to mouth off? Even if Batman doesn’t verbally connect his questioning to defenestration?

      In my mind the main difference is that the police are in the habit of subduing people so I wouldn’t be looking for a cause of the threat in the questioning.

      • Isn’t Batman basically abusing the principle that constitutional rights only apply to what the State can do to you? Like how evidence provided by citizens not acting under police control (i.e. not informants) can’t be excluded under the 4th amd?

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