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Showing posts from September, 2018

You have the right to remain silent....unless you are free to leave

Guest post by Fabiana Alceste.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” These words have likely been burned into our collective consciousness by the ubiquitous and fantastic TV series Law & Order (in my case, Law & Order: SVU). These words are often spoken as Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler handcuff the main suspect of the episode—the last words trail off as they walk offscreen and the show cuts to a commercial break. We know this scene, and we know the words…but why do these warnings exist and for whom are they intended?
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, custodial interrogations are sometimes characterized by the use of police intimidation, trickery or other psychological tactics, a restriction of one’s personal liberty, and a feeling of compulsion to speak against one’s will1. Recognizing this, in 1966’s infam…