Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Escaping from the Books for a Moment

The following are a couple of things I feel that someone needs to tell most tv/movie/book/comic book writers:

1. Hearsay: You are doing it wrong. Yes, you. It's pretty much safe to say that if you reference hearsay at all, you're doing it wrong. Just accept it.

2. Diplomatic Immunity does not work that way.

3. The Chain of Evidence is your friend.

4. The 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments probably don't work that way.

5. Cross-exam can work that way, but honestly, the other side would win.

6. Legal ethics are squirrelly sometimes, but we do actually have them. And we also tend to regulate ourselves surprisingly well. :-)

7. Miranda rights are actually a good thing.

8. Public defenders are not usually evil or incompetent. Overworked and under-appreciated? Damn straight.

That is all. Good night. :-)


  • At December 07, 2008 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    More and more as I get older, I hear and see people basically believing police and attorneys and 911 operators, etc, as obstructive and stubborn if not outright evil. This always bothers me.

  • At December 07, 2008 3:08 PM, Blogger Saranga said…

    What are Miranda rights?

  • At December 07, 2008 4:07 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Miranda Rights are when the cops start going "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney..." and so on and so forth.

    So then if, during or prior to an interrogation, the suspect either says he wants to be quiet or to have an attorney present; he's invoking his Miranda rights.

  • At December 07, 2008 5:57 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    TV Tropes are fun.

  • At December 07, 2008 9:12 PM, Blogger Marshall Ryan said…

    Anything in particular that triggered this?

  • At December 08, 2008 12:11 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Finals studying.

  • At December 08, 2008 4:38 AM, Blogger Will Staples said…

    8. Public defenders are not usually evil or incompetent. Overworked and under-appreciated? Damn straight.

    I HATE that stereotype, and I'm not even into legal stuff.

    I remember a few years ago, during the gubernatorial elections here in Massachusetts, the Democratic candidate was a former defense attorney, and Kerry Healey, the Republican incumbent (Mitt Romney's lt. gov.), ran nothing but attack ads to the effect of "Deval Patrick once got a cop-killer a lighter sentence. Kerry Healey protects the innocent, but Deval Patrick only protects murderers."

    Deval won by a landslide, thank goodness.

  • At December 08, 2008 5:45 AM, Blogger Saranga said…

    Ahh, thanks Kalinara. Can I ask why they are called 'Miranda' rights?

  • At December 08, 2008 6:03 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    :-) No problem. Miranda Rights have their name because of the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. Basically, Ernesto Miranda was interrogated regarding kidnapping and rape, however he hadn't been apprised of his 5th Amendment rights (that's the right against self-incrimination) and there was some question about whether his confession had been coerced from him instead of having been given of his free will.

    The Supreme Court overturned his conviction and mandated the Miranda warnings that we now see on every American cop show under the sun. :-)

    Miranda himself got a new trial where his confession was not admitted and ended up convicted on other evidence.

  • At December 08, 2008 9:24 PM, Blogger Chris Sims said…


  • At December 09, 2008 7:31 AM, Blogger Saranga said…

    A-ha! Thanks! One step closer to understanding the American legal system whilst my knowledge of the UK legal system is pretty damn shaky..yeah i've got my priorities right ;)

  • At December 10, 2008 3:29 PM, Blogger Hale of Angelthorne said…

    See, this is why I don't watch lawyer TV shows or movies. Either it's inaccurate, which pisses me off, or if it is accurate, I think to mysef, I just did this shit all day. Do I REALLY want to watch people who are richer and better-looking than me PRETEND to do it?

  • At December 10, 2008 3:32 PM, Blogger Hale of Angelthorne said…

    Interestingly enough, I once had an evidence professor refer to the application of the Exclusionary Rule to private citizens as "the Batman rule" i.e., if the cops can't legally obtain that evidence, then Batman can't either.


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