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View Full Version : Obama Legal Team Wants Defendants' Rights Limited


Dino 6 Rings
04-27-2009, 12:42 PM
WASHINGTON The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overrule long-standing law that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present, another stark example of the White House seeking to limit rather than expand rights.

The administration's action _ and several others _ have disappointed civil rights and civil liberties groups that expected President Barack Obama to reverse the policies of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, after the Democrat's call for change during the 2008 campaign.

Since taking office, Obama has drawn criticism for backing the continued imprisonment of enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial, invoking the "state secrets" privilege to avoid releasing information in lawsuits and limiting the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them.

The case at issue is Michigan v. Jackson, in which the Supreme Court said in 1986 that police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one, unless the attorney is present. The decision applies even to defendants who agree to talk to the authorities without their lawyers.

Anything police learn through such questioning cannot be used against the defendant at trial. The opinion was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the only current justice who was on the court at the time.

The justices could decide as early as Friday whether they want to hear arguments on the issue as they wrestle with an ongoing case from Louisiana that involves police questioning of an indigent defendant that led to a murder confession and a death sentence.

The Justice Department, in a brief signed by Solicitor General Elena Kagan, said the 1986 decision "serves no real purpose" and offers only "meager benefits." The government said defendants who don't wish to talk to police don't have to and that officers must respect that decision. But it said there is no reason a defendant who wants to should not be able to respond to officers' questions.

At the same time, the administration acknowledges that the decision "only occasionally prevents federal prosecutors from obtaining appropriate convictions."

The administration's legal move is a reminder that Obama, who has moved from campaigning to governing, now speaks for federal prosecutors.

The administration's position assumes a level playing field, with equally savvy police and criminal suspects, lawyers on the other side of the case said. But the protection offered by the court in Stevens' 1986 opinion is especially important for vulnerable defendants, including the mentally and developmentally disabled, profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityf ilter, juveniles and the poor, the lawyers said.

"Your right to assistance of counsel can be undermined if somebody on the other side who is much more sophisticated than you are comes and talks to you and asks for information," said Sidney Rosdeitcher, a New York lawyer who advises the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

Stephen B. Bright, a lawyer who works with poor defendants at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, said the administration's position "is disappointing, no question."

Bright said that poor defendants' constitutional right to a lawyer, spelled out by the high court in 1965, has been neglected in recent years. "I would hope that this administration would be doing things to shore up the right to counsel for poor people accused of crimes," said Bright, whose group joined with the Brennan Center and other rights organizations in a court filing opposing the administration's position.

Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and former FBI Director William Sessions are among 19 one-time judges and prosecutors urging the court to leave the decision in place because it has been incorporated into routine police practice and establishes a rule on interrogations that is easy to follow.

Eleven states also are echoing the administration's call to overrule the 1986 case.

Justice Samuel Alito first raised the prospect of overruling the decision at arguments in January over the rights of Jesse Montejo, the Louisiana death row inmate.

Montejo's lawyer, Donald Verrilli, urged the court not to do it. Since then, Verrilli has joined the Justice Department, but played no role in the department's brief.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/23/obama-legal-team-wants-de_n_190852.html

Dino 6 Rings
04-27-2009, 12:45 PM
So much for the questioning stopping in Law and Order or CSI when the defendant says "I want a lawyer." I can't wait to see how Horatio Caine beats the crap out of suspects now that he doesn't have to have a lawyer present. It'll make for great TV.

Godfather
04-27-2009, 02:49 PM
Change we can believe in!

trauben
04-27-2009, 02:56 PM
http://www.persuasive.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/2/obama-hitler.JPG

Ever wonder about reincarnation?

The_WARDen
04-27-2009, 03:07 PM
:rofl::rofl::rofl::toofunny:

:popcorn:

revefsreleets
04-27-2009, 03:30 PM
Interesting.

Again, similar policies from the previous administration are what made Bush "evil", now Obama wants to expand the limitations.

Can't wait to hear the usual Officer Barbrady response of "Nothing to see here, move along..."

SteelersinCA
04-27-2009, 03:44 PM
This is absolute bullshit. A defendant THINKS he wants to talk to the police because they THINK they can talk themselves out of it. So many times I've had clients want to tell their side of the story because they THINK it will help. It never does. Meager benefits?? Incriminating yourself further is a meager benefit? Ridiculous.

HometownGal
04-27-2009, 06:26 PM
http://i40.tinypic.com/20qj7s6.jpg

SteelCityMan786
04-27-2009, 06:33 PM
http://i40.tinypic.com/20qj7s6.jpg

It makes me hope even more that Republicans take over congress in 2010 and immediately initiate the impeachment process. Obama quickly is landing on that list with me.

PisnNapalm
04-27-2009, 07:32 PM
Scary..... downright scary....

HAWK
04-30-2009, 06:02 PM
This is disappointing. However, it will fit in quite nice with the Patriot Act.

xfl2001fan
04-30-2009, 06:20 PM
This is absolute bullshit. A defendant THINKS he wants to talk to the police because they THINK they can talk themselves out of it. So many times I've had clients want to tell their side of the story because they THINK it will help. It never does. Meager benefits?? Incriminating yourself further is a meager benefit? Ridiculous.

My only issue with this is that if a Defendant chooses to give the information and you can record the entire session (not just on a voice recorder either...full video so that you can read body language and such) I don't see why it can't be admitted as evidence. However, the entirety of it needs to be shown to a lawyer so that they can then refute questioning and such.

That's just my take. I'm not saying that we should take away the right to an attorney...because everyone should have the right to legal counsel...but if you choose not to use it, who's fault is that?

HAWK
04-30-2009, 06:24 PM
The problem is there's such a thin line between right and wrong here. I've never been one to side with the defendant. But come on, there has to be a balance.

SteelersinCA
04-30-2009, 06:56 PM
My only issue with this is that if a Defendant chooses to give the information and you can record the entire session (not just on a voice recorder either...full video so that you can read body language and such) I don't see why it can't be admitted as evidence. However, the entirety of it needs to be shown to a lawyer so that they can then refute questioning and such.

That's just my take. I'm not saying that we should take away the right to an attorney...because everyone should have the right to legal counsel...but if you choose not to use it, who's fault is that?

These are people who obviously have made questionable decisions or they wouldn't be where they are in the first place. Do you really think it's in their best interest to be talking to police? I have never come across a cop who was gathering information to let someone go, they are always gathering information to aide in the prosecution of someone. There is a reason they say "anything you say can AND WILL be used against you."

SteelersinCA
04-30-2009, 07:00 PM
The problem is there's such a thin line between right and wrong here. I've never been one to side with the defendant. But come on, there has to be a balance.

Where is the fine line in "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense?"

xfl2001fan
04-30-2009, 08:11 PM
These are people who obviously have made questionable decisions or they wouldn't be where they are in the first place. Do you really think it's in their best interest to be talking to police? I have never come across a cop who was gathering information to let someone go, they are always gathering information to aide in the prosecution of someone. There is a reason they say "anything you say can AND WILL be used against you."

That's just it, they are notified that "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." That's the whole right to remain silent (Miranda rights???), plead the 5th and all that jazz.

It's a choice they have to make. If they choose to not be quiet (without a lawyer present), then they give up that right. Even a fool appears wise if he keeps his mouth closed.

SteelersinCA
04-30-2009, 10:43 PM
The article states it is about when a defendant has ASKED FOR AN ATTORNEY. The rule is once they invoke their right to an attorney all questioning is supposed to stop. You don't get to go in an say are you sure you still want an attorney? Hey your atty isn't here yet why don't you just tell us what happened.

I'll tell you what, if you ever get arrested, god forbid, you go ahead and tell the cops whatever you want, see how well it works out for you. They'll promise you the world, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO LIE TO GET INFORMATION!!! Then you are left with the consequences.

Let me try to put it in terms you would understand, would you feel comfortable being thrown into a battle against a Delta force team? The Constitution is about fairness and equity, not about letting the police get the upper hand.

SteelersinCA
04-30-2009, 10:44 PM
The article states it is about when a defendant has ASKED FOR AN ATTORNEY. The rule is once they invoke their right to an attorney all questioning is supposed to stop. You don't get to go in an say are you sure you still want an attorney? Hey your atty isn't here yet why don't you just tell us what happened.

I'll tell you what, if you ever get arrested, god forbid, you go ahead and tell the cops whatever you want, see how well it works out for you. They'll promise you the world, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO LIE TO GET INFORMATION!!! Then you are left with the consequences.

Let me try to put it in terms you would understand, would you feel comfortable being thrown into a battle against a Delta force team? The Constitution is about fairness and equity, not about letting the police get the upper hand.

xfl2001fan
04-30-2009, 10:56 PM
God forbid I'm ever in the position where I have to talk to the cops because I've been accused of a crime. However, once I ask for an attorney, they can ask me a million questions. I will continue to use my Right to remain silent. They can ask a million question while I'm waiting, I'll just smile away. They can make a million threats...and still I'll silently smile while waiting for my attorney.

Either you choose to use that right, or you choose not to.

Typing SPECIFIC STATEMENTS IN CAPS doesn't change that SIMPLE LITTLE FACT.

SteelersinCA
04-30-2009, 11:01 PM
Did it ever occur to you that because the cops can lie they can scare people into doing things they don't want to do? Ever cross your mind or do you just like to argue with me cause I don't drink the OSU Kool-Aid?

xfl2001fan
04-30-2009, 11:07 PM
Did it ever occur to you that because the cops can lie they can scare people into doing things they don't want to do? Ever cross your mind or do you just like to argue with me cause I don't drink the OSU Kool-Aid?

I am well aware that all people are capable of lying...and that some cops will do whatever it takes (no matter how far over the line it might be) to get what they want. There are good cops and bad cops...just like there are good lawyers and bad lawyers and good/bad Soldiers etc... You know, in every walk of life, religion, race, creed, nationality, there are good and bad people.

This argument has nothing to do with OSU/Steelers/Browns/Football. Maybe you can't separate your teams from outside arguments...if that's the case, then I feel for you.

I am making simple logical statements. While the cops can lie and threaten all day long, still, the choice is available. Once you say, I won't talk without a lawyer, it's on you to ensure that is the case.

You have yet to refute the fact that the "questioned individual" makes a choice to talk/not talk. Just like a criminal makes a choice to break the law, so does the detainee make a choice to talk/not talk. (Notice, I'm not saying everyone questioned by cops are guilty, I'm not so gullible/naive as to believe such.)

When you're ready to get past the teams that I support and continue this, by all means, let me know.

SteelersinCA
04-30-2009, 11:21 PM
Haha, you crack me up, did you read the original post? Maybe, I shouldn't assume such simple things.

"But the protection offered by the court in Stevens' 1986 opinion is especially important for vulnerable defendants, including the mentally and developmentally disabled, profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityf ilter, juveniles and the poor, the lawyers said."

People make uninformed choices all the time, choices that have can have grave consequences, people that are particularly vulnerable, this protects them, what is so hard for you to understand about that?? You ever read a legal book? Ever tried reading the penal code? Do you understand it completely? Would you feel comfortable if a cop essentially forced you to make a decision?

Perhaps you think you have the steel resolve to resist, not everyone does. The point is everyone should be given that protection.

Incidentally, I find it ironic you are arguing against protections in the very document you are sworn to protect. Of course you also do your fair share of criticizing the President and when I was in the military that was a violation of the UCMJ, maybe it's changed now? You want to talk to a lawyer before you get back to me? :noidea:

xfl2001fan
04-30-2009, 11:34 PM
Haha, you crack me up, did you read the original post? Maybe, I shouldn't assume such simple things.

"But the protection offered by the court in Stevens' 1986 opinion is especially important for vulnerable defendants, including the mentally and developmentally disabled, profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityf ilter, juveniles and the poor, the lawyers said."

People make uninformed choices all the time, choices that have can have grave consequences, people that are particularly vulnerable, this protects them, what is so hard for you to understand about that?? You ever read a legal book? Ever tried reading the penal code? Do you understand it completely? Would you feel comfortable if a cop essentially forced you to make a decision?

Perhaps you think you have the steel resolve to resist, not everyone does. The point is everyone should be given that protection.

Incidentally, I find it ironic you are arguing against protections in the very document you are sworn to protect. Of course you also do your fair share of criticizing the President and when I was in the military that was a violation of the UCMJ, maybe it's changed now? You want to talk to a lawyer before you get back to me? :noidea:

I never said that there weren't exceptions...and I offered a viable alternative. Any questioning needs to be on video tape where the defendent is in clear view. This way, the defendents lawyer can refute the evidence if necessary. Although I didn't mention it, I was particularly concerned for the mentally challenged and juveniles. Being poor isn't really much of an excuse. I grew up poor and don't exactly have a lot of money now. But, that doesn't stop me from going to a Library and reading books on a myriad of subjects.

You're right, not everyone has my resolve. But I don't pity them. Personally, I think this nation is chock full of thin-skinned spineless ninnies who believe that being PC is the right answer and that discipline can be maintained strictly by talking. Sorry, I don't buy into it.

I've done my fair share of legal research. There's a lot of excessive verbage used, but, generally speaking, it's not that difficult if you take some notes and have a dictionary/thesaurus handy. I'm just a regular uneducated country bumpkin...so I have to go about things differently. I've had my problems in the past, though (for the most part) it's been relatively minor

Glad to know that I have a legal expert on this site though. We have a doctor here too. Because my wife is studying to be a Medical Transcriptionist, I'm picking up on a lot of Medical knowledge too. Oh, it's like a great many things in my life, knowledge that will likely never be used...but it's still fascinating stuff. Who knows, maybe when she's done, I'll pick up a copy of the Penal Code somewhere and begin studying it.

I am pretty sure I answered the BO issues. I can disagree with policies...I can even voice that disagreement. Show me where I've posted a picture or said something (that wasn't in Jest) against Obama. We'll take each one individually if you'd like. I disagree with his policies...and yet, that is allowed. I disagreed with his platform, which is allowed. I disagree with his ideology, which is allowed.

As for the "document" I'm sworn to protect...show me where I haven't. I've debated an issue, but when it comes down to it, I still stand by the constitution.

Could you please do me one little teensy favor though? Show me (in the constitution) where it says that once someone asks for a Lawyer that cops have to immediately stop questioning? Which article specifically states that?

I am pretty sure I don't need a lawyer to talk to you. Just a CPU. Isn't this fun?

SteelersinCA
05-01-2009, 12:11 AM
It is fun. Video tape brings up a whole different challenge. You have to realize, I'm sure you do, you are much more proactive with respect to educating yourself than the average person.

I have 2 articles for you, one that clearly states you can criticize Obama as you wish on this site, I'm sure you are happy now! :drink:

The second, I got especially for you from an OH lawyer's website!! :thumbsup: The USC, not Trojans, Constitution, does not say once you invoke your right to counsel the cops have to stop questioning you, but The Supreme Court through case law has said that is what they must do. It starts with Miranda, then goes through a litany of other cases.

http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/07autumn/kiel.pdf
http://www.ohiocriminalappealslawyer.com/2009/04/invoking-your-right-to-counsel.html

By the way, don't bother with the Penal Code, it's huge and different for every state. My point was simply that laws can be cumbersome and difficult to decipher. If we didn't make it so difficult, who would need lawyers? Sort of a self perpetuating ideology!!

xfl2001fan
05-01-2009, 12:29 AM
It is fun. Video tape brings up a whole different challenge. You have to realize, I'm sure you do, you are much more proactive with respect to educating yourself than the average person.

I have 2 articles for you, one that clearly states you can criticize Obama as you wish on this site, I'm sure you are happy now! :drink:

The second, I got especially for you from an OH lawyer's website!! :thumbsup: The USC, not Trojans, Constitution, does not say once you invoke your right to counsel the cops have to stop questioning you, but The Supreme Court through case law has said that is what they must do. It starts with Miranda, then goes through a litany of other cases.

http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/07autumn/kiel.pdf
http://www.ohiocriminalappealslawyer.com/2009/04/invoking-your-right-to-counsel.html

From the first website, I gather you are referring to this specific verbage:

The government may not charge expressions
of opinion made during the course of a private conversation or adverse
criticism of a protected official or legislature if it was not personally
contemptuous and was done during the course of a political discussion
By the way, don't bother with the Penal Code, it's huge and different for every state. My point was simply that laws can be cumbersome and difficult to decipher. If we didn't make it so difficult, who would need lawyers? Sort of a self perpetuating ideology!![/QUOTE]

For the second website, I knew that the constitution didn't state...and the only reason why I asked is because you brought up my job in it's (USC) defense.

As for being happy that I "can" criticize Obama...I actually don't want to criticize him. I want him to be the best President in the History of the States. I just don't think he is that guy. He promised the world to a great many and diverse population...and won't be able to back a great majority of it up. Unfortunately, it feels like that is just par for the course.

BTW, nice finds on such short notice. :thumbsup:

As for video, unfortunately, no system is remotely perfect. Most of them won't even be close. So long as there are crooked people (whether they be "criminals", cops, lawyers, Soldiers, etc...) there will be issues to be concerned with.

Unfortunately, such is life.

SteelersinCA
05-01-2009, 12:39 AM
For the second website, I knew that the constitution didn't state...and the only reason why I asked is because you brought up my job in it's (USC) defense.



I was actually speaking more about the right to counsel in general.

As for the first site I was thinking this:

"Although the directives are primarily consulted for the list of activities
that they prohibit, they also openly encourage servicemembers to participate
in a number of political activities. These activities include voting,
contributing money to partisan campaigns and causes, attending rallies,
meetings, and conventions as a spectator, joining a political club, and expressing
personal opinions on candidates and political issues." - speaking of the 2 DoD directives, 1325.6 and 1344.10.

xfl2001fan
05-01-2009, 12:52 AM
I was actually speaking more about the right to counsel in general.

As for the first site I was thinking this:

"Although the directives are primarily consulted for the list of activities
that they prohibit, they also openly encourage servicemembers to participate
in a number of political activities. These activities include voting,
contributing money to partisan campaigns and causes, attending rallies,
meetings, and conventions as a spectator, joining a political club, and expressing
personal opinions on candidates and political issues." - speaking of the 2 DoD directives, 1325.6 and 1344.10.

Right to counsel is fine. I don't object that anybody should have a right to counsel. However, throwing out a statement because it wasn't made in front of a lawyer...that's a bit far IMO. A choice was made...that was my base argument.

For the second issue, I skimmed over that part...to see if I could find something with a little more meat.

While saying you encourage an opinion on candidate/political issue...there was still a small concern that you could still be prosecuted for giving such an opinion...due to insubordination or conduct unbecoming. Not that I'd know about that verbage personally or anything. :wink:

SteelersinCA
05-01-2009, 02:13 AM
Nah, it's only if you are in uniform or in a situation where it could be considered an official capacity. You're a browns fan on here so that pretty much throws anything resembling official out the window! :flap::tt02:

Vincent
05-01-2009, 08:08 AM
http://rappahannockred.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/progressive-obama-marxist-democrat.jpg

Why are "liberals" called liberals? Seriously.

HometownGal
05-01-2009, 08:24 AM
Why are "liberals" called liberals? Seriously.

Because it's more polite and PC than calling them "baby killing, tax loving, hypocritical spendthrifts"? :noidea::wink02::chuckle:

Vincent
05-01-2009, 08:37 AM
Because it's more polite and PC than calling them "baby killing, tax loving, hypocritical spendthrifts"? :noidea::wink02::chuckle:

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q312/KevinWilliamsMusic/obama.jpg