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Don't Talk to the Police

By Anthony - Saturday, March 30, 2019 No Comments

In this video, Professor James Duane*, expands on famous advice given by Justice Robert H. Jackson**, that "...any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances." (See Watts v. Indiana)

Professor Duane is an American law professor at the Regent University School of Law, a former criminal defense attorney, and is also recognized as a Fifth Amendment expert. While his video "Don't Talk To Police" is essentially a lecture that he gave to a group of law students with Virginia Beach Police Department Officer George Bruch, the video has gone viral over the years, with one version receiving more than six million views before it was taken down because of a copyright claim. Together, Professor Duane and Officer Bruch explain in practical terms why citizens should never talk to police under any circumstances.

Viewers of the video are given several specific reasons supporting the idea that of never talking to police: (1) Even perfectly innocent citizens may get themselves into trouble even when the police are trying to do their jobs properly, because police malfeasance is entirely unnecessary for the innocent to convict themselves by mistake; (2) talking to police may bring up erroneous but believable evidence against even innocent witnesses, and; (3) individuals convinced of their own innocence may have unknowingly committed a crime which they inadvertently confess to during questioning.

** Professor Duane is also known for his views that there are bizarre legislative drafting errors in the Virginia Statute on Privileged Marital Communications, as well as issues involving the introduction of hearsay evidence at trial (known as "bootstrapping"). Duane, a member of the advisory board of the Fully Informed Jury Association, has also written in defense of jury nullification.

* Justice Jackson was United States Attorney General (1940–1941), an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1941–1954), and was the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. Many lawyers revere Justice Jackson as one of the best writers on the court, and one of the most committed to due process protections from overreaching federal agencies.


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