Courts Category

  City Room: Police Surveillance Records May Stay Secret, Judges Say By By AL BAKER Published: June 9, 2010 A panel of federal judges rules that New York City need not release documents concerning police surveillance related to the 2004 Republican National Convention. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/police-surveillance-records-may-stay-secret-judges-say/

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Supreme Court Miranda Decision Shifts Police Burden – TIME

The supreme court recently ruled that invocation of Miranda rights must be done explicitly. While the author of the above article sees this is odd, I find it consistent. After all, to waive one’s rights this must be done through explicit articulation. Why shouldn’t invocation abide by the same linguistic rules? What this comes down to, I think, is that the Supreme Court sees Miranda as a Wittgensteinian Language Game in which there are rules of conduct for what make certain utterances socially meaningful.

The author also takes at face value how Miranda works without looking at how confessions and statements are actually, and legally, obtained. For example, many suspects explicitly invoke only to make incriminating statements on the way to jail. Miranda was created to protect suspects from getting “the third degree.” The kind of verbal tricks deployed by the detective in the latest Miranda case may be tricky and tap at very human emotions of the suspect, but that is not illegal.

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