Although law books typically spend most of their I.D. chapters on the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, in real life that doesn't come up so often. Shall we see why?

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There are now 5 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. Burke says

    “That’s not how they violated your-” That sentence fragment seems to be leading in the direction that they did violate our suspect’s rights in some other way. Looking forward to seeing how, unless one of our legal experts wants to give me a prediction.

  2. Gregory T. Bogosian says

    “Law books and law practice aren’t the same thing.” So do the people who write law books not have the resources to make the books match the practice or is that not their job in the first place?

    • It’s difficult to make law books match practice ideally because law practice, especially in Common Law justice system, depends heavily on the specific circumstances of the case. Specific to the US, there’s also the part where law practice can vary from state to state. And as new rulings are made, precedents referred to in older law books can be overturned. Even factors outside the case itself, such as the mood of the judge and the specific composition of the jury, have a considerable impact on law practice.

    • It depends on the book. Books used by lawyers to do their job are very pertinent to practice — they’re the actual law itself, and practice guides for a given jurisdiction. But the books used by law students aren’t as helpful. They have different purposes.

      We train law students not by telling them what the law is, but by making them figure it out for themselves. They’re given a series of cases, each of which provides a piece of the puzzle, and they have to put it all together. It’s as much about learning how to think as learning the law itself. How to spot the legal issues presented by a set of facts, how to reason critically, etc. How to look up the right law that will apply to a set of facts. These skills plus a general understanding of the law are what’s taught.

      Sometimes a bit of the general law that gets taught doesn’t work that way in a particular jurisdiction, or it doesn’t come up in real life all that often, or has changed since the book was written, or yeah that’s technically right but that’s not how we do things here, or what have you.

      I have the luxury in this comic of not having to teach like a law school class. I don’t have to rely on real-world cases that only give pieces of the puzzle, but can just tell you flat out what the rule is, show how it works, and show how it doesn’t work. And sometimes, as here (no spoilers, please) times where it doesn’t apply.

      My guess here is that the knowledgeable inmates are relying on the kinds of books used by law students, rather than by lawyers.

  3. I’m guessing he wasn’t “informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” soon enough.

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