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July 03, 2010

Vol. 4   No. 12

Miranda

Every CHL class I've ever taught has included, as part of a hand-out, a list of items that could prove helpful in Winning a Gunfight.  The list contains a collection of witticisms from various unnamed sources.  I point out that the list is intended to be both entertaining, as well as informative.  Before moving to another subject, however, I encourage my students to read, understand and ALWAYS follow the advice in last item, #25 on the list:

25. Say nothing afterwards except the Seven Magic Words:

"I want to speak with my attorney."

In a recent decision, the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES in BERGHUIS, WARDEN v. THOMPKINS CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT No. 081470. Argued March 1, 2010 Decided June 1, 2010, changed the rules  -  a little.

In their decision, the Court held that, to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights, you must affirmatively request your lawyer, before an interrogation must legally cease.  Just remaining silent and saying nothing is not enough to trigger your constitutional rights, under the Fifth Amendment.

It's still a fairly simple rule to remember:

Say, "I want to speak with my attorney." and then Shut Up.

Life's so easy, when you let it be.


Practice, Practice, Practice

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