Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A video explaining why you shouldn't talk to cops



This is an excellent video that explains why you shouldn't talk to the police. Let me summarize what James said in the video:
  • According to the Fifth Amendment to the Unites States Constituion, no person can be forced in any criminal case to be a witness against himself
  • It is not a shame to take the Fifth and exercise your right to remain silent
  • The Supreme Court said
    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 the wrongdoer, may provide the government incriminating evidence from the speaker's own mouth
  • The criminal laws are so complicated and immense that no one can say for sure that s/he doesn't violate any of them (in his example, one can be convicted for owning a lobster shorter than a certain size as it violates some state law)
Reasons for not talking to the police:
  • There is no way it can help
  • If your client is guilty, and even if he is innocent, he may admit his guilt with no benefit in return
  • Even if your client tells the police something they already know, it can still be disadvantageous to him since if, for some reason, the police can't be a witness at the time of the trial, the case will be dismissed
  • Even if your client is innocent and denies his guilt and mostly tells the truth, he can easily get carried away and tell some little lie or make some little mistake that will hang him
  • Even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth, he will always give the police some information that can be used to help convict him
  • Even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth and does not tell the police anything incriminating, there is still a grave chance that his answers can be used to crucify him if the police don't recall his testimony with 100% accuracy
  • Even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth and does not tell the police anything incriminating and his statement is videotaped, his answers can be used to crucify him if the police don't recall the questions with 100% accuracy
  • Even if your client is innocent and only tells the truth and does not tell the police anything incriminating and the entire interview is videotaped, his answers can still be used to crucify him if the police have any evidence, even mistaken or unreliable evidence, that any of his statements are false
If you would like to hear what an officer thought about James' argument, watch part 2 :)