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Join the conversation! There are now 13 comments on this chapter's page 21. Nope, Not You. What are your thoughts?
  1. Oddstar says

    Small complaint about formatting: when you add new strips, the website automatically takes the reader to the newest one. Normally that would be fine, except that you usually add several new strips all at once, so that, when someone (like me, for example) visits the site, he finds that he has missed several strips, and has to go back to read the strips in order. And that would be fine, if you had a button to automatically go back to the beginning of the current chapter or story arc, as many webcomics do. Instead, however, one has to page back a strip at a time. If you could perhaps add a button so that a reader could automatically go back to the beginning of the current chapter, so as to read each group of new strips in order more easily, that would make reading this comic more convenient. Sorry to be a pest about this, but I thought it might be helpful to you to point this out.

      • A “go to first strip of this series” link would be nice.

        Maybe combo that with a chronological list of series and readers will have perfect control. (I think you already have this but I think I had to actively look hard for it.)

  2. JW says

    Damn! I’m at the current end! And just as it was getting good… ;)

    Coincidentally – weird question, I know – but I’m not sure where else to ask, figure you might have the resources or connections to figure it out better than most? But:

    All us ‘mericans know the Miranda spiel, at least the beginning, thanks to TV and movies. But not every country has the same arrest procedure (in fact, England apparently utilizes an equivalent that is quite the reverse, apparently, something like, “You do not have to say anything, but it may hurt your defense later…”). And the one I’m interested in, for the purposes of a (fiction) story I’m working on, is NOT an English-speaking country. It’s Romania.

    Obviously, I do not expect you to know all of criminal procedure for a completely foreign country (that would be absurd, you have enough in your head to deal with in US law!) but I have yet to find another good resource that can even tell me what they’re supposed to say when they arrest you in say, Bucharest. And I kind of need to know it at some point, or certain later parts of the story can’t get written. ;)

    Again, it’s a totally weird question and if I were a lazy writer I’d just pretend they use Miranda and hand-wave it, but I am way too masochistic not to research this. :P

    • In Romania, although an accused person certainly has the right to remain silent if he so chooses, the authorities are under no obligation to inform him of this right. (And the European Convention on Human Rights is silent (ha) on whether one should be informed of one’s right to remain silent.) So there is no analogous Miranda spiel.

      Romania has a very different legal system. It’s more like France than the U.S. or the U.K., being a Napoleonic civil-law system rather than a common-law one. In such systems, the relationship between the individual and the state is not seen so much as one between a citizen and his employees, as between a subject and his ruler. Individual rights are thus seen not so much as protections against the state, as guarantees of noblesse oblige. This results in dramatic differences in how the respective systems behave. The judge acts as investigator, rather than referee. There are no jury trials. The system wants the government to find out what really happened and act accordingly, as opposed to doing so within constitutional limitations on how far the government can intrude on the individual. It’s really a fascinating area for study, though not one this webcomic is likely to cover.

      • oh man, I would really love an illustrated guide on the differences between various countries’ legal systems.

        • I agree! Please put this on your to-do list (although I understand it might be at or near the bottom, right below “slseping on a fire ant nest”) :-)

      • I can’t speak for Europe, but in the UK we’re called subjects of the crown rather than citizens, or at least we were until recently. The idea that our government are rulers rather than representatives persists also, to the point where our equivalent of senators aren’t elected.

  3. ptrei says

    Um, where’s the juror in this lineup? Surely the component that decides whether the case has or has not been made merits a mention.

    Editorializing, I get a strong impression that all the other players regard the jury as an irritation that they’d rather do without, and all conspire to, as far as possible, make it a rubber stamp of little importance.

    • On the contrary, everyone recognizes just how important the jury is. But the jury isn’t so much a player as what the lawyers are playing FOR. (With the judge as referee.)

      The trial jury isn’t involved in the investigation of a crime, which is really what this section on criminal procedure is about — the constitutional rights you have that limit what law enforcement can do when gathering evidence. So it’s not even a character in this section.

      The trial jury does come into play at the very end of the section on advanced criminal procedure — what happens once someone is formally charged with a crime. The jury is not involved in any of the stuff that happens before the trial, however.

      And even during the trial, the law isn’t so much concerned with what the jury is doing, as it is with what the lawyers and judges are doing. The law of criminal procedure is focused on protecting the defendant’s constitutional rights by controlling what the lawyers can or cannot do. The law of evidence also comes into play at trial, and it’s focused on controlling what the lawyers can or cannot present to the jury, to ensure that the jury doesn’t hear something irrelevant or unreliable.

      Again, the jury isn’t a player there so much as it is what the others are playing for. Which makes the jury terribly important. It’s the opposite of an irritation — it’s the goal.

  4. Tim says

    Reminds me of the school trip. The teacher introduces the DA, the PD, the judge… the defendant says, “Yeah, but if it weren’t for me, they’d all be out of a job.”

  5. Gregory Bogosian says

    If you can go without pictures there is a book about it.

    I liked it. The thesis is that there are more similarities between the various legal systems than there are differences. Fair warning. There is an obvious bias in favor of the Common Law and a fantastical section on how irrational, complicated, and counter-intuitive the German legal tradition is with no solid evidence to support those claims. However, this is the only source on comparative law that I could find not written for professional scholars or full-time law students.

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