Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Have The Right to What, Eh?

Not to a lawyer in Canada apparently.  You have the right to an attorney, to call one after being arrested, to consult with one, but you do not have the right to have one present while being questioned.  Given what we know about coercion and confessions, this decision is deeply troubling. 

The judges were ruling in three separate cases in which suspects had asked in mid-interrogation to speak to their lawyers again.  They said that suspects should be allowed to consult again with a lawyer only if something happens in the interrogation room to change their situation dramatically.
Remind me not to get arrested in Canada.  We already know that people will confess after long hours of interrogation, but this does not produce justice.  Well, that is if justice means getting the right person as opposed to getting just anyone. 

I look forward to my more legally-educated colleagues to rant about this decision, as I am no expert on the law.  But I think I am in good company in thinking that this ruling stinks. 


Chip said...

yeah, especially given this kind of story: "Why do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit?"

What becomes clear is that even in the US, "justice" really means just having a body that can be tagged as guilty. What's surprising is how many of these interrogations take place in the US without the lawyer present, even though the accused have that right.

Unknown said...

It's time to move back to the States.