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Criminal justice: No free lunch - Case Study Example

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Criminal Justice: “No Free Lunch” (1) Issue 1: The issue specified for the first questions is: Whether or not Chuck’s statement, “I was just the lookout man,” falls under the protection of the Fifth Amendment. The crux of the issue lies in the possibility that Chuck was put in a situation by police officers that forced him to admit participation in a crime, contrary to the guarantees by the Fifth Amendment…
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Criminal justice: No free lunch
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Download file to see previous pages To ‘plead the Fifth’ means to invoke the protections of the Fifth Amendment, which in this case would pertain to the protection of witnesses against being forced to yield testimony that may be self-incriminating. The protection is built into the Miranda1 rights which include the right to remain silent. Anything the accused says of his own volition could possibly be used as evidence against him in court. Under the Miranda ruling, the following safeguards must be observed: 1. If a person in custody is to be subjected to interrogation, he must first be informed in clear and unequivocal terms that he has the right to remain silent and the right to counsel, which will be provided him if he cannot afford one. 2. An express waiver of any rights must be made by the defendant; a waiver cannot be assumed or implied from his silence to ask for counsel. Jurisprudence provides helpful insight into the case, specifically Miranda v Arizona (1966) and Oregon v Mathiason, (1977). These shall provide the case law governing interpretation of the facts in light of the issue. Application of the rule to the facts of the case According to the facts of the case, San Francisco Police Officer Cheever was investigating the drug syndicate, VG, and learned that one of its members, Hardluck Chuck, had a falling out with it. Cheever located Chuck and offered to buy him lunch. When Chuck agreed, Cheever brought him to an abandoned warehouse where he left Chuck with Police Officer Friendly. Cheever left Chuck with Friendly to get the meal; during that time Chuck asked if he could leave, and Officer Friendly said he was free to go but if he left they could not buy him lunch. Cheever returned with the food, put it on the table, and told Chuck to tell them about VG first. Chuck fell silent, at which time Cheever and Friendly conversed about how many kids overdose on heroin. Chuck responded: “Okay, but I want you to know I was just the lookout man.” Chuck then provided information on VG. Afterwards, Chuck was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin. The first defense that may be raised in this case is that Chuck had not been read his rights as required pursuant to the Miranda doctrine, as described in the prior section. It must be noted, however, that there was no need to read Chuck his rights, as he was not a suspect under custodial interrogation at the time he made the statement. Chuck had not been arrested, nor was he being asked to admit culpability in anything. His questioning was as a potential informant, as the interest of Cheever was to find out about VG’s activities. Only after Chuck issued his statement did he become a suspect and was therefore arrested, during which time he would have been read his right to keep silent and to counsel. The second defense is that Chuck’s statement may not be used against him because it would violate his right against self-incrimination. The fact that Chuck’s statement was self-incriminating, however, does not make it inadmissible on this basis, because he was not forced to make any such admission. Chuck was not even asked about his participation in any crime; he was asked ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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