Do NOT Talk to Police! Part II

Do not talk to Investigators! Especially if you are innocent!

Link to complete article:


Just Say Nothing
[Originally published in The Blue Press, from Dillon Precision]

Just Say Nothing by Dave Kopel

What if you’ve just been arrested for something which shouldn’t be a crime? For instance, if a burglar breaks into your home, attacks your children and you shoot him. Should you talk to the police in detail about what happened? In a word, “No.” Shut up, call the best lawyer you can find, and then continue to shut up. If you talk to the police, you will only make things worse for yourself.

Sociologist Richard Leo has written several articles which detail the deliberately deceptive techniques which police use to extract a confession.

First of all, since 1986 the Unites States Supreme Court has required that all persons under arrest be given the Miranda warnings, so that they will know that they have a right to remain silent, and the right to a lawyer. So how do police convince a suspect to talk, even after the Miranda warning?

Professor Leo explains that “police routinely deliver Miranda warnings in a perfunctory tone of voice and ritualistic behavioral manner, effectively conveying that these warnings are little more than a bureaucratic triviality.” Of course, the Miranda warnings are not trivial; your liberty may hinge on heeding those warnings.

No matter how strong the other evidence against you, a confession will make things much worse. A confession often makes the major difference in the district attorney’s willingness to prosecute the case, and his willingness to accept a plea bargain. If your confession gets before a jury, your prospects of acquittal are virtually nil.

If you are foolish enough to reject the Miranda warnings, simply put, the police interrogators will attempt to deceive you into confessing. As a result of increased judicial supervision of the police, deception, rather than coercion (“the third degree”) has become the norm for interrogation.

First of all, you will be kept in a physical environment designed to make you want to waive your rights and talk. You will most likely be kept in isolation, in a small, soundproof area. By isolating you, the interrogator attempts to instill feelings of anxiety, restlessness and self-doubt on your part. Left alone for long periods, you may think you are being ignored, and will therefore be happy to see the interrogator return.

One response to “Do NOT Talk to Police! Part II

  1. Pingback: Traffic Stops And Other Police Encounters Tutorial « John Jacob H’s RKBA Commentary

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