Question for all you police officers or CJ people

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Randell1234, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    The issue is that the current Miranda tells people they have the right to talk to a lawyer before they are interrogated, but does not say they can have a lawyer present during the interrogation.

    On one hand, if they talk to a lawyer before being interrogated, presumably that lawyer would say that he/she can be present during the interrogation.

    On the other hand . . . well two weeks ago, a local woman, the manager of the church where my group dances, was called by a parishioner who was terminally ill, and in great pain, and was planning suicide, and wanted someone to sit with her during that process. That was done, and when the parishioner died, the woman called 9-1-1. The local police came, handed the tremendously distraught and emotional woman a card to read with the Miranda rights, interrogated her at some length, then arrested her for murder. She says she has no clear memory of what she may have said that brought this about. After 3 days in jail (million-dollar bond), her court-appointed lawyer got the charges reduced to some form of "endangerment" and bail lowered to $20,000. Would the proposed changes in Miranda have prevented this? Impossible to know, of course, but it couldn't have made things worse.
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    The bottom line: If you have committed a misdemeanor of a felony crime, then don't talk to the police. That's basically the message the Supreme Court is sending to criminals. After Miranda was passed in the 1960s, conviction rates went down something like 30% e.g. more criminals went free. :rolleyes:

    On the other hand, if you didn't commit a misdemeanor or a felony crime, then please feel free to talk to the police to clear things up. :)

    Here is my rights warning card that gets read to suspects:
    • You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions and to have him with you during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before questioning if you wish. If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time. You also have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to a lawyer.
    Seems crystal clear to me. :rolleyes:

    All career criminals refuse to talk to the police.
  4. rickyjo

    rickyjo Guest

    i have have have a few friends who have been falsely accused and arrested harassed and treated inhumanely. If they had not tried to clear things up their words wouldn't have been twisted into "grounds" for the polices evil actions. One arrested over small things and been stuck in over a year long process costing many thousands of dollars before finally getting acquitted because the DA had literally no case and was trying to squeeze money out of a plee bargain and kept getting it extended over and over. He was denied a right to a speedy trial, a lot of things happened that made me sick. I have lost faith in the system entirely because of the experiences of my friends and one experience of my own where I learned what police can be like, innocent or not. Just because you know a few good police officers or work in a good county doesn't mean that most places are like that. I for one live in colorado springs I have seen the dark side. Talking to many police just gives them ammo because they dont want to clear things up no matter how obviously innocent you are. That said, police in nearby Parker (by Denver) do not seem to be like that, but my experience is a bit more limited. I have a couple friends who have lived in both and they say it's not as bad in Parker.

    The mirranda rights are the greatest achievement I can think of in justice in this country. How many of those 30% were falsely accused and convicted before we got them?

    As best I can tell dropping the arrest rate another 30% could be the best thing for this country. Especially with all the people going to jail for drugs, victimless crimes in many cases. It's near 30% of people in jail that are there for drugs if im not mistaken.

    I know this isn't universal and I'm sure you folks aren't like that...but haven't you ever seen your fellows do anything that made you afraid for justice in this country? My bias is based on all my falsely accused friends, or my harmless pot-smoking hippy friends, yours is based on the no-doubt aweful things you have had to see that I pray I'll never have to see....but I just wanted to mention what I've witnessed. People in authority need to be aware of what other people in authority are many lives and years and suicides are lost/caused by careless, lazy or random acts of those who have misused authority.
  5. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    Not necessarily.

    Apparently, career criminals learned a few things that law-abiding citizens generally overlook in their desire to cooperate with law enforcement. Once you make an utterance it can be used against you.
  6. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    What? :confused:

    If my memory serves me correctly: Mr. Miranda raped and then murdered a woman. The police apprehended him and he was convicted of those two crimes. He appealed saying that the confession was beat out of him and it went all the way to the Arizona supreme court, which upheld Miranda's conviction. Then it went to the U.S. supreme court where Miranda's conviction was overturned because he wasn't told by the police that he didn't have to confess e.g. he had a right to remain silent.

    The case was subsequently re-tried in the Arizona court system and he was re-convicted using other evidence and without using Mr. Miranda's confession. He went to prison.

    Upon Mr. Miranda's release from prison, he got into a bar fight where he was murdered. The police arrived and Mirandized all the suspects -- and all the suspects invoked their constitutional right to remain silent. Subsequently, the killer of Mr. Miranda has never been found, thanks primarily to the Miranda rights. Fate works in mysterious ways. :D
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    You are absolutely correct. While in prison, they communicate the best ways to beat the system.

    Many examples could be given. If you are raped (or even your wife) and if there is no corroborating forensic evidence to back up your alleged story of being a victim (aka a condom with DNA in it), then we'll simply walk away from your case because the suspect exercised his Miranda rights. It's now exclusively between you and him because we (the police) play by the rules. Good luck with being an alleged victim! :eek: ;)

    Our hands are clean. Buh-bye! :)
  8. BruceP

    BruceP Member

    This is a little off the beaten path of this discussion, but I always scratched my head with this one... Within the legal system, ignorance of the law is not an acceptable excuse... But the police are required to read you your rights?

    Go figure.
  9. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    [quote If you are raped (or even your wife) and if there is no corroborating forensic evidence to back up your alleged story of being a victim (aka a condom with DNA in it), then we'll simply walk away from your case because the suspect exercised his Miranda rights. It's now exclusively between you and him because we (the police) play by the rules. Good luck with being an alleged victim! :eek: ;) Our hands are clean. Buh-bye! :)[/quote]

    Remind me never to visit your community *without* a camera crew to document everything that happens to me. You know, just in case. ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2009
  10. rickyjo

    rickyjo Guest

    Just because your county or friends play by the rules doesn't mean that everybody does. It's like any organization, the police aren't special, some do some don't, but the stakes are much higher. I've had so many friends eaten by the system I've lost count. I've had friends come back who have lost their humanity. The system is rotten in bits and pieces throughout. The good and the bad intermingle and sometimes one cannot tell the difference because of good men in politics and law enforcement who have succumbed to religiously driven societal norms in things that have no business being driven by religion. I may personally be driven by religion, but not if I'm a law maker. Our rights have been slowly eaten away. It becomes unclear who exactly the government is out to get. Sometimes it seems free thinkers are at greater risk than real criminals.
  11. rickyjo

    rickyjo Guest

    I thought I would throw this out there, another issue I'm fairly familiar with. This happened to somebody I worked with and on further research is fairly common in some mid-western states. TO be clear my friend did not have anything stolen, but all his stuff was tossed onto the street for no other reason than profiling as best we can figure and some stuff was destroyed by the rough treatment (camera, and something else).

    It's just good to know about less than perfect government practices so we can change them. This is just another example in the pandemic of guilty until proven innocent and still screwed. Ya they don't usually go to jail but they get criminal treatment anyway.
  12. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I'm confused. What would you do before Miranda? Presumably the perp is smart enough to say "i didn't do it".
  13. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    1) You have weird friends.
    2) Religion? What does religion has to do with anything?

    In any case, Miranda warning is a Good Thing (TM). Russian system convicts 97% of accused - you seriously think it is better than yours?
  14. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Police harassment

    First of all, let me tell you this: As a law enforcement officer, it's not easy to harass citizens, to include people like you. In my jurisdiction, we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on patrol duty, where we do most of our harassing. The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents.

    At any given moment, only one-fifth of the patrol officers are on duty and available for harassing people, while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents. When you toss in the commercial businesses and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes we have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people.

    Now your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people that we can realistically harass.

    The tools available to us are as follows:

    PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

    Another popular one is: "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into immediate action.

    CARS: We have special cops in patrol cars who are assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or people with no driver's licenses. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light or some other minor violation. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on them when you find they have drugs in the car or they are drunk or they have an outstanding warrant on file.

    RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them, you can harass them for hours.

    STATUTES: When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called Statutes, Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc... They all spell out things for which you can really harass people with. After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses -- and then harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It's a really cool system that we've set up, and it works pretty well. We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them -- and they pay us to harass some people.

    Next time you are in my jurisdiction, please give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes that means, "You can't harass me." It's one of our favorites. :) :eek:
  15. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    :D I'm simply shocked!
  16. rickyjo

    rickyjo Guest

    I don't believe I compared us to Russia. I'm sure ours is better than most, that's not the point. It's not a matter of comparison, it's an issue of human nature. I agree with this quote by Mencken which summarizes my viewpoint.

    Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.
    ~ H. L. Mencken < This man is perhaps the smartest and wittiest man to ever live.

    I suppose ours is one of the most tolerable, that does not inherently make its failings acceptable.

    I don't think I have weird friends, I think it's an issue of demographic and participation in LEGAL activities that are profiled/looked down parties involving drinking for example. Young male at party = suspect #1. I maintain that's profiling.

    I'm not trying to be incendiary I'm saying that the shortcoming of a government are always huge and must constantly be addressed to maintain whatever freedom mankind can hope to have.
  17. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Dude, you don't like government? Would you prefer the lack of government? Like, I dunno, Somalia?

    I would agree that government agents (and especially peace officers) are granted extraordinary powers, hence should be open to extraordinary levels of scrunity and regulation (including Miranda law). But making the abstract "government" an enemy strikes me as... dumb.

    Gee, why would an activity that's scientifically proven to inhibit judgement be profiled?

    No disagreement here. How about reducing the need for governing/policing by promoting individual responsibility? Actually, your country's citizenry does that - that's why you have relatively OK public safety with relatively small police force and relatively liberal laws. Kudos USA!
  18. Mike001

    Mike001 New Member

    Sorry, but that statement seems a little irresponsible albeit biased, especially if you are a law enforcement professional. It's also the exact reason that many good lawyers will tell you to never talk to a cop. EVER.

    Here's an interesting video on the subject:
  19. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Yep, you're right: career law enforcement officers are biased against career criminals. Most semi-intelligent career criminals understand that after they commit a felonious crime, it's extremely important to not talk to the police i.e. don't divulge any incriminating information by providing an interview with officers. That's career criminality 101. Ultimately, it's the victims that suffer from the criminality of career criminals; it doesn't hurt officers.

    If you go back to the founding of the United States, such as in the 1600s and 1700s, it's interesting to examine the methods that were used to adjudicate guilt and, my favorite, punishment. Punishment in those early days was vastly different and it frequently involved public humiliation, such as binding the criminal in stocks in the public square where everyone could see the punishment. If this kind of public humiliation still didn't deter the criminal, then banishment from the community was also an option. Can you imagine banishing a career criminal from your city in the 21st Century as a form of punishment?

    Yep, I'm biased against those who commit felonious actions against innocent citizens. No doubt about it. If those felonious creeps don't have a change of heart, then they'll eventually stand in front of the Great White Throne Judgment without an advocate (e.g. Attorney Jesus) and they'll be cast into the lake of fire where they'll burn for all eternity. Yes my dear, justice is coming! :D
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Miranda is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts of our legal system; I almost never give a suspect Miranda, simply because I very rarely question them. As a patrolman, I either catch people in the act of committing the crime, or have enough probable cause for a past offense to make the arrest, so it's not necessary for me to ask them anything.

    For Miranda to apply, there has to be 2 factors;

    1. Custody


    2. Interrogation

    I can walk up to anyone on the street and start asking them questions that might incriminate them, but as long as they're free to walk away, I don't have to give Miranda, and anything they say can be used against them.

    On the other hand, I've arrested countless people to whom I never gave Miranda, because I didn't ask them anything. There is custody, but no interrogation.

    It's always entertaining to listen to a suspect screaming about how he's going to beat the rap because I didn't read him his Miranda rights. The problem is that I didn't ask them any questions. :rolleyes:

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