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Add-on to Miranda rules

Currently, the damn rights are pointless.
 
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All police officers should be required to state something along the lines of "I have some questions to ask. Bear in mind with your responses that you do have the right to remain silent and to not answer my questions if you choose not to. Any answers you give can and might end up being used against you in a court of law. Knowing this, will you cooperate and answer my questions?"

This statement (specific wordage can be worked out, but you get the general idea) should be issued before ANY questions may be asked by a police officer.

The reasoning here is that a right to remain silent is pointless if you are told about it AFTER answering the cop's questions.

21 Quest, Aug 14 2012

Never talk to the police http://www.youtube....watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc
Everything you need to know about talking to the cops [ytk, Aug 16 2012]

[link]






       Huh? That's exactly the case now. The police have to read you your rights before they question you. The wording is actually pretty close to what you stated here.
  

       As a matter of fact, the police generally go well out of their way to make sure that anyone being questioned is well aware of exactly what their rights are, and explicitly chooses to waive them. And for a very good reason—courts have repeatedly found that it's not enough to simply have your rights read to you. In order to consider your rights waived, the court must be convinced that you actually /understood/ your rights at the time of waiver. Thus, you can't read a suspect who only speaks Spanish his rights in English and expect the courts to uphold the waiver.
  

       It's really not that people don't know or understand their rights. The problem is that people, especially people who actually have committed crimes, think they're clever enough to talk their way out of whatever mess they're in. In point of fact, they're not.
  

       Anyway, [marked-for-deletion] advocacy/rant. Sorry, but there's no actual content here.
ytk, Aug 14 2012
  

       I know that's how it works once you are in police custody, in one of their interrogation rooms, but I'm talking about when an incident occurs which the police respond to at the scene, and they are questioning witnesses. Do they currently have to read the Miranda rights to every person they ask questions of, while at the scene? I don't think they do, and that is what I'm calling for.
21 Quest, Aug 15 2012
  

       Putting aside the fact that this is then even more clearly advocacy, it doesn't even make sense. Of course they don't read you your rights when they're just talking to you, because your rights don't apply unless and until you're being detained. Up until that happens, any conversation you have with the police is strictly voluntary. Your right against self-incrimination is only there to protect you when you don't have the option to leave. There's no right to voluntarily say something stupid that can get you into trouble and not experience any consequences. If in the course of a conversation that you are having voluntarily with a police officer, you say something that causes the officer to have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, well, that's your own fault. Nobody made you talk to the cops in the first place.
  

       Your “Miranda rights” against self-incrimination stem from the Fifth Amendment, which I suggest you have a look at. The relevant text is “No person… shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”, with the key part here being “in any criminal case”. A criminal case begins with an arrest, and not a moment before that. An investigation doesn't in itself constitute a criminal case, in part because in order for there to be a criminal case, there need to be specific charges against a specific defendant. So if you're not currently under arrest, then there's no criminal case against you and your Fifth Amendment right doesn't apply. The police can't read you a right you don't have.
ytk, Aug 15 2012
  

       The problem, as I see it, is that if a policeman is writing your responses down in a notepad to be presented as evidence in court, it is not a conversation even though it may seem so and the officer takes great pains to make it seem like that's all it is. You don't have to be under arrest to be interrogated. If an officer is on duty, asking questions about a crime, and taking notes, then you should be reminded of your Miranda rights. Yes, I can legally leave any time I want to if I am not under arrest. But citizens are encouraged to always cooperate with the police, and I think most of us do want to help in such situations. But when a police officer is calmly asking me questions, on the edge of the crime scene with no other officers even in earshot, then suddenly tells me to put my hands behind my back and informs me that I not only could have refused to answer his questions but hints that I probably should have, I feel that an injustice has been visited upon me. The fact that I was released less than a day later and the case against me was dismissed only serves to vindicate my position. I had nothing to hide, so I shouldn't have had to worry about what I was saying. But as a result, I spent 15 hours in jail, suffered through 3 atrocious meals, and missed a day of work because I was tricked into filling a cop's quota, and I'm not the only one who's been subjected to such treatment.
21 Quest, Aug 15 2012
  

       //The problem, as I see it, is that if a policeman is writing your responses down in a notepad to be presented as evidence in court, it is not a conversation even though it may seem so and the officer takes great pains to make it seem like that's all it is.//
  

       If you're free to leave, talking to the police is voluntary. It's no different than talking to anybody else who takes down notes to later use against you in court. Your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent only applies when talking to the police isn't voluntary.
  

       //If an officer is on duty, asking questions about a crime, and taking notes, then you should be reminded of your Miranda rights.//
  

       Why? Your Miranda rights don't apply in that situation. They only apply once you've been detained or arrested. If you're free to leave, you don't have any special rights against self-incrimination. Your Miranda rights /only/ apply when you're obligated not to stay. Your right to a public defender if you can't afford an attorney, for example, is not a right you normally have unless you're currently under arrest. So what right are you claiming you want to be notified of here? Your right to not speak to anyone you don't want to? Why should the police have any special obligation to remind you of that right when they're not exercising any particular police power over you? They're just talking to you. Anyone could do that, and you'd have no right to be told you can shut up whenever you feel like it.
  

       //But when a police officer is calmly asking me questions, on the edge of the crime scene with no other officers even in earshot, then suddenly tells me to put my hands behind my back and informs me that I not only could have refused to answer his questions but hints that I probably should have, I feel that an injustice has been visited upon me.//
  

       But you were aware the whole time that you didn't have to answer his questions. You chose to do so anyway. You have nobody to blame but yourself. And if you weren't aware of that fact, then you need to take a civics lesson, not to mention a lesson in common sense. Again, nobody to blame but yourself.
  

       //The fact that I was released less than a day later and the case against me was dismissed only serves to vindicate my position. I had nothing to hide, so I shouldn't have had to worry about what I was saying. But as a result, I spent 15 hours in jail, suffered through 3 atrocious meals, and missed a day of work because I was tricked into filling a cop's quota, and I'm not the only one who's been subjected to such treatment.//
  

       Your one-sided, self-serving story doesn't even hold up on its face. An arrest quota? You've got to be kidding. Why would they have an arrest quota? It's not like issuing tickets, where people usually just pay them. Arresting somebody is a big deal. You have to be able to show reasonable suspicion in court, or the arrest isn't valid and can subject the officer to a harassment suit. And then there's the time and manpower it takes, not to mention the paperwork. Arresting a suspect is a costly and potentially dangerous procedure that isn't taken on lightly by the police, particularly when there's a low likelihood of a crime actually having been committed. That you were released only shows that the prosecutor didn't feel like your case was worth bothering with for one reason or another. A significant number of arrests, including roughly a third of all /felony/ arrests, ultimately result in no charges being filed or the charges being dismissed.
  

       Here's what most likely really happened: You had a bit too much to drink, and one way or another started making a nuisance of yourself. The cops were called, possibly even by you. Once the officer arrived on scene, he found a drunk and boisterous [21 Quest] who was making a big deal about some perceived wrong visited upon his person. Seeing the impaired and belligerent state you were in, he decided, for your own good, to arrest you for public intoxication and creating a disturbance, and haul you off to spend a night in the drunk tank before you hurt yourself or somebody else. The prosecutor decided that you'd probably learned your lesson, and dismissed the charges once you'd had a chance to sober up a bit. All in all, I'd say justice was served all around.
ytk, Aug 15 2012
  

       //Arresting somebody is a big deal. You have to be able to show reasonable suspicion in court, or the arrest isn't valid and can subject the officer to a harassment suit.//
  

       Except that they didn't even have a valid reason for arresting me. When I charges I was being arrested for, the officer told me it was for mishandling a firearm. Later the next day, in court, the judge said I was arrested for 'intimidation with a weapon apparently capable of causing grievous bodily harm', and she acknowledged that mine was a case of self defense, not intimidation, and she threw it out.
  

       // You had a bit too much to drink, and one way or another started making a nuisance of yourself//
  

       Um, no, I was completely sober. If I was drunk I would've gotten a DUI because I drove myself to the scene of the incident. I likely would have also gotten charged with public intoxication. Handling a weapon while intoxicated would have also ensured that the mishandling charge did apply. As is, my record to this day is squeaky clean.
  

       //costly and potentially dangerous procedure that isn't taken on lightly by the police//
  

       Not when there are already more than half a dozen officers on the scene to deal with 1 suspect and the guy who called them, and I had already handed them my weapon and the magazine for it before they even started asking me questions.
21 Quest, Aug 15 2012
  

       Self Defense is an affirmitve defense. That means that you admit what you did was otherwise in violation of the law, but that you had a legitimate reason to do it. Thus it is generally the case that you will be arrested for something that is later dismissed as self defense.
MechE, Aug 15 2012
  

       Ah. Well, it sucked.
21 Quest, Aug 15 2012
  

       //Except that they didn't even have a valid reason for arresting me.//
  

       Yes, they did. Apparently, you shoved the barrel of a rifle up somebody's nose. That's a valid reason for arresting you. I would have arrested you had I been the officer on the scene.
  

       //When I charges I was being arrested for, the officer told me it was for mishandling a firearm. Later the next day, in court, the judge said I was arrested for 'intimidation with a weapon apparently capable of causing grievous bodily harm', and she acknowledged that mine was a case of self defense, not intimidation, and she threw it out.//
  

       Self-defense is an affirmative defense, meaning that the charges still apply, but you can raise an excuse. If your case was thrown out on grounds of self-defense, it means that the police /did/ have a valid reason to arrest you, because you did commit an act that would normally be punishable. It's not the police officer's job to determine whether your self-defense claim is valid or not—that's the job of the courts. The police simply arrest anyone who they reasonably believe has likely committed a crime, and leave it up to the prosecutor and courts to determine whether the act was justified or not. Sticking a gun in somebody's face in public is a crime, even if you're justified in doing so. Having a valid excuse doesn't make the act itself any less of a crime, but it means you can't be held liable for that crime.
  

       Anyway, your idea still makes no sense. It's meaningless to talk about your Miranda rights before you're arrested. If you talk to the police and, based on that conversation, they decide to arrest you, your rights have not been violated in any way. Even if your Miranda rights somehow did apply before an arrest, those rights only affect what evidence may be introduced at trial. The police can always arrest you if they think you've committed a crime, even if it turns out that the evidence on which they based the arrest was illegally obtained. If that's the case, then the arrest itself may be declared invalid, or at a minimum that evidence can't be used against you at trial. You have no right not to be arrested based on anything you've said. If that were the case, undercover police operations would be completely impossible, because they could never arrest anyone who committed or confessed to a crime while unaware that he was talking to the police.
ytk, Aug 15 2012
  

       Yeah, that's pretty much the default for that type of encounter.
  

       If nobody reads you your rights or fingerprints you, you are viewed as "detained and released", which is different than arrested. They can sit on you for a reasonable period of time (open to interpretation).
  

       As for a warning not to talk to them, how would they ever figure out what's going on if they encouraged you to keep mum before asking you any questions?
normzone, Aug 15 2012
  

       Actually they can't sit on you for a period of time. What they can do is arrest you, but not charge you for a period of time (usually one day). If you are not arrested, regardless of what the police say, you have the right to leave whenever you want.
MechE, Aug 15 2012
  

       So, this whole [21Q] not-so-diplomatic incident would never have happened if it was illegal for the general public to carry firearms? Grist for the mill of commonsense and public order, I'd say.
UnaBubba, Aug 15 2012
  

       We have guns, Brits have bombs and knives. I'd say we're about even. Don't know about you Aussies, though... you guys are trying to arm your 12-year olds with knives and bows & arrows.
21 Quest, Aug 15 2012
  

       //you guys are trying to arm your 12-year olds with knives and bows & arrows.//
  

       ...Based on what, exactly?
  

       [Bubs] - that's a weak point and you know it. Sure, the gun-up-the-nose incident wouldn't have happened, instead a [21Q]-gets - the-shit-kicked-out - of-him incident happens instead. That may or may not be a bad thing depending on your perspective, but from his point of view, I think he preffers door A to door B.
  

       The availability of weapons to criminals genie is well and truly out of the bottle. I feel it's like dealing with entropy - no reasonable force or effort is going to disarm the criminal element.
  

       Living in Australia, I get to feel relatively safe, most of the time. So I don't feel the need to arm myself. If I were living somewhere else, and didn't feel so very safe, I would of course take reasonable steps, such as arming myself, legally or otherwise.
Custardguts, Aug 15 2012
  

       //Living in Australia, I get to feel relatively safe//
  

       Are you serious? Australia is like some sort of real-life video game—every single goddamn thing from ants to crocodiles is constantly trying to kill you.
ytk, Aug 15 2012
  

       That's about a recent BBC article about a law you Aussie's are debating on whether to allow 12-year olds to hunt unsupervised with knives and bows.
21 Quest, Aug 15 2012
  

       Your folks didn't let you do those things at that age?!
Scandalous! I was given my first rifle at fourteen and told to get the hell out of the house and go play with it. We were allowed to drive on back roads at that age too back then.
  

       I think that kids suffer from less-and-less challenges until later-and-later ages in our modern society. They are given the least amount of trust right at the ages when they most need and are most eager to learn not to abuse that trust.
To answer your questions; yes. I took my thirteen year old daughter out shooting the 22's day before yesterday, (she's still scared of the 30-30 yet), and I let her drive whatever back roads I feel safe for her to drive when I'm with her. She's getting to be a pretty good shot. The things you learn at that age can be put aside for decades and come back in an instant. What will today's twelve year olds draw on for later skills?... joy-stick controls? textolympics? conform-ation?
  

       That reminds me, I really need to mail in to apply for the 'government 'acceptance of the high nineties I scored in the restricted and non-restricted firearms ticket course they recently made me pay to take in order to regain a right that's been mine for the majority of my life.
I swear to God, I've been hiking with a rifle for, well shit, it's going on thirty years now, and I've yet to shoot a single critter, (not that I frown on it, I'd feed my family quite well if I needed to with a gun, bow, or traps), but not one single critter yet.
  

       Oh yeah, Miranda rights...
...I'm for them.
Anyone looking to be a bad-ass learns to shut-t-f-up in grade school. If you're clean then what's the problem?
  

       //I'm guessing the Bonnie and Clyde school of shooting and back-road law enforcement avoidance will be about as useful as anything else.//
That's not my point. Those hours driving back-roads taught me instinctive reactions on any driving surface which has saved my life on more than one occasion and firearm training taught me respect for machinery and life in general. I'd lay odds that those kids you see going Columbine were not taught about firearms at a young age by someone who gave a shit. They were self-taught by an un-feeling internet/video game tutorial, and then were backed so far into a corner by the other kids, society seems so designed to accomodate, that they felt fully justified in their actions.
Farming and Carpentry are useful yes but at the ages in and around puberty 'emotion' is the catch-phrase of the day. If no-one has taught these kids to curb those emotions, where those emotions come from, how they'll change in the future, and the possible affects of their actions then... what else do you expect from the few who are driven to the edge at so young an age?
  

       I know whereof I speak.
{Ooh pretentious-y}
I was less than a curly-blonde-one away from going Columbine more times than I care to remember growing up. Those Bonny-and-Clyde skills may very well have made the difference.
They should not be so easily shat upon by you or anyone else.
  

       Besides, I can only teach what I know.   

       //After going deer hunting do you watch the Bambi DVD//
  

       I don't hunt.
  

       Sorry I tend to slip into slang when I wax hillbillisophic. A blonde-one is slang for less than a pubic hair from crossing... some line or other.
A curly-blonde-one is somewhat less than that, (don't know why, just is), I think 21 was about the time I first got laid. Could have used more advice in that department... not the going off half-cocked department, but a heads-up on the whole predatory-female department would have saved me much grief.
  

       Forewarned is forearmed... it's not just for breakfast anymore.   

       Dunno. Got my first gun when I was 8... an air rifle.
First shotgun when I was 10; a .410.
First 12-gauge when I was 12-13. Then a 5-shot semi-auto when I was 15.
Had access to but used little, a couple of .303 WWI & WWII rifles, a .22, a .222, a .243 and a 30-06.
Have fired Bren, Vickers and an AR-10 machinegun and a 3 in. mortar.
  

       I don't see why people need guns, especially most of those types I've listed.
  

       As for Miranda Rights... a peculiarly American issue, of some limited application outside the US.
  

       If you have to speak to police, weigh everything before you say it. If you are cautioned or detained, shut your mouth and insist on the presence of a lawyer, regardless of what they tell you about how nice and friendly they are, or how little trouble you'll be in if you tell the truth.
  

       The words "police brutality" appear together for a reason.
UnaBubba, Aug 16 2012
  

       I once watched a very interesting talk about why you should never talk to the police, as explained by both a law professor AND an actual police officer (link). Very enlightening and worth watching for, well, anyone.
ytk, Aug 16 2012
  

       //The police...leave it up to the prosecutor and courts to determine whether the act was justified or not//

Not entirely true. The Police investigate & compile the evidence for the case which they might then pass on to the prosecutor. Or some of it might get lost due to admin errors.
DrBob, Aug 16 2012
  
      
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