Originally Posted by brokencycle
I find it hard to believe that in court the prosecutor could use the fact that you didn't say anything to a police officer for two minutes as evidence of guilt. 'THAT GUY DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY RESPOND TO A QUESTION! HE MUST BE GUILTY!'
Originally Posted by Jmm722
The first part you're correct on, and it's what I said in the first place.
The second part, has been upheld by SCOTUS. There are no presumptions in criminal cases, but the jury may (not must) draw inferences. The idea is that someone questioned of a crime would immediately deny any culpability if they were completely innocent. What you said is gross misrepresentation of what is permissible.
As I said, here it wasn't really applicable because there was no crime he was being questioned about. But, it also show people the wrong way to protect your rights.
As for the "unable to leave" it refers to when you show up at the police station for questioning (typically voluntarily) then are not allowed to get food, leave for bathroom breaks, leave for smoke breaks, etc. Essentially, you arrive voluntarily and then feel like you are unable to leave. It's also why police give people making a confession food, because it defeats a claim of duress or coerced confessions.
1. I think you're misconstruing b-cycle's point. I understood his comment to be about the persuasiveness or value of that evidence. It's easy to get confused being the courts saying it's permissible to draw certain inferences in certain circumstances, on one hand, and the courts concluding that such inferences must be drawn whenever the conditions precedent exist. In some circumstances, silence may be pretty persuasive evidence. In other cases, it's not. What SCOTUS has said is that, in the appropriate circumstances the jury is permitted to draw (or not) whatever conclusions it feels are warranted by that piece of evidence, just as it does with any other piece of evidence. (I think you get this - just clarifying.)
2. Maybe there's some semantic confusion here -- are you talk about irrebuttable
presumptions? It's simply not the case that "there are no presumptions in criminal cases". Presumptions -- including one very well-known and critical one -- are applied in criminal cases all the time.
3. Your last point is a jumbled mess. Whether or not you're being detained doesn't turn on bathroom breaks or getting food. And saying that giving people who are confessing food "defeats a claim of duress or coerced confessions" is absurd. Where did you come up with that? Cops give people being interrogated food for a variety of reasons, including the desire to play the whole "hey buddy I'm on your side here" routine. But a coerced confession doesn't become legit just because the copy gave the a danish.
Oh, and having said all that -- good call, cycle, on waiting for Birdman. He does this stuff for a living. I don't really, anymore, at least not in a context where I have to deal with these issues regularly. If I fucked it all up he can correct it.