An article in today’s Washington Post repeats an assertion I hear all the time: that only a criminal with something to hide would decline to talk to a prosecutor. This common belief undermines two fundamental American principles: the presumption of innocence and the constitutional right against self-incrimination. The Miranda Advisory says that statements “can and […]
Security versus Liberty The American criminal justice system inherently pits security against liberty. On the one hand, we all want to be safe from criminals, and we pay police to provide us some of that safety, even at the risk of their own safety. On the other hand is the often-esoteric concept of “liberty” which […]
Freedom Means Being Left Alone “[T]he right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized [people].” –Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States When can police pat you down? Poke behind your ceiling tiles? Peek in your bedroom windows? The Constitutional Right to Be Left Alone: Your right […]
The Star Tribune recently ran a piece asking whether Minnesota inmates have a right to receive a new, effective, but expensive, hepatitis treatment. Although I prepared myself to read the comments, I was, nevertheless, taken aback when I did. They went like this: “Inmates should not get medication or subsequent transplants. They should lose those […]
Want to know the secret trick for passing field sobriety tests? — don’t take them. Here’s why.