Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter for "Rust" shooting

Started by OttoVonBismarck, January 19, 2023, 04:45:48 PM

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Jacob

Quote from: Admiral Yi on January 25, 2023, 03:55:22 PMNo, I believe talking to police without a lawyer and signing a confession for a crime you didn't commit are two separate and distinct things.

For sure. They are. But both can get you further into legal trouble.

Barrister

[deleted]
Posts here are my own private opinions.  I do not speak for my employer.

viper37

Quote from: crazy canuck on January 25, 2023, 03:54:01 PMIt is always wise to exercise that right, and not speak to police without first speaking to a lawyer and having the lawyer present.
BB will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe in Canada, police have the right to question you without the presence of your attorney.

I seem to remember some critical distinction between America and Canada on that front.  But you still have the right to not answer their questions.
I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.

viper37

Quote from: crazy canuck on January 25, 2023, 03:57:57 PM
Quote from: Admiral Yi on January 25, 2023, 03:55:22 PM
Quote from: Jacob on January 25, 2023, 03:50:27 PMYou don't believe statements made to the police can (and will) be used against you unless you sign an actual confession?  :huh:

:scratches head:


No, I believe talking to police without a lawyer and signing a confession for a crime you didn't commit are two separate and distinct things.

Scratches head even more.  If you confess a crime to police, you do not need to sign a confession - you have already confessed...
Don't they need to formally write it down and have you sign it too?

Otherwise, if an individual walks into a police station, confesses a murder to an officer, than goes to a trial and says "oh, I never said that, he just invented it", won't that get messy for the prosecution?
I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.

crazy canuck

Quote from: viper37 on January 25, 2023, 06:38:31 PM
Quote from: crazy canuck on January 25, 2023, 03:54:01 PMIt is always wise to exercise that right, and not speak to police without first speaking to a lawyer and having the lawyer present.
BB will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe in Canada, police have the right to question you without the presence of your attorney.

I seem to remember some critical distinction between America and Canada on that front.  But you still have the right to not answer their questions.

A poster above succinctly stated the three things police in Canada must do.  After giving those warnings, if a person decides to talk to the police, the police have no obligation to stop them from talking.  But the person does not have to say anything.
I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

crazy canuck

Quote from: viper37 on January 25, 2023, 06:43:11 PM
Quote from: crazy canuck on January 25, 2023, 03:57:57 PM
Quote from: Admiral Yi on January 25, 2023, 03:55:22 PM
Quote from: Jacob on January 25, 2023, 03:50:27 PMYou don't believe statements made to the police can (and will) be used against you unless you sign an actual confession?  :huh:

:scratches head:


No, I believe talking to police without a lawyer and signing a confession for a crime you didn't commit are two separate and distinct things.

Scratches head even more.  If you confess a crime to police, you do not need to sign a confession - you have already confessed...
Don't they need to formally write it down and have you sign it too?

Otherwise, if an individual walks into a police station, confesses a murder to an officer, than goes to a trial and says "oh, I never said that, he just invented it", won't that get messy for the prosecution?

Sure, it is better evidence if it is signed, but it is not necessary.
I want you to panic

https://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2019/jan/25/i-want-you-to-panic-16-year-old-greta-thunberg-issues-climate-warning-at-davos-video

"Woke" is now almost exclusively used by those who seek to deride it, those who chafe at the activism from which it sprang. Opponents to the idea are seeking to render it toxic. They use it to stand in for change itself, for evolution, for an accurate assessment of history and society that makes them uncomfortable and deflates their hagiographic view of American history.

grumbler

Quote from: viper37 on January 25, 2023, 06:43:11 PMDon't they need to formally write it down and have you sign it too?

Otherwise, if an individual walks into a police station, confesses a murder to an officer, than goes to a trial and says "oh, I never said that, he just invented it", won't that get messy for the prosecution?

Confessions are evidence like any other evidence.  The prosecution isn't going to try a person just because they walked into a police station and confessed to the crime.  High profile crimes can have numerous people confessing to them.
The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.   -G'Kar

Bayraktar!

HVC

I have to imagine all interrogations are recorded in this day and age.
Being lazy is bad; unless you still get what you want, then it's called "patience".
Hubris must be punished. Severely.

Jacob

... but still

"You told the police officer [detail] when you were interviewed earlier. Is that correct?"

You probably want to answer that truthfully when under oath.

"Now you're saying [something], which conflicts with [detail]. How do you explain that?"

Not the best position to be in if someone is trying to get you convicted of manslaughter.


grumbler

Quote from: Jacob on January 25, 2023, 07:52:45 PM... but still

"You told the police officer [detail] when you were interviewed earlier. Is that correct?"

You probably want to answer that truthfully when under oath.

"Now you're saying [something], which conflicts with [detail]. How do you explain that?"

Not the best position to be in if someone is trying to get you convicted of manslaughter.


Agreed.  The entire reason the police conduct these repetitive interrogations is to collect little lapses of memory like that, even when, as in this case, the lapse of memory is utterly immaterial to the actual case (everyone knows full and well that Halls handed him the gun and told the set that it was "cold," and Halls himself has confessed to that act.

The jury will be unable to understand that that was maybe the fourth of fifth time that gun had been handed to Baldwin just that day, and maybe the fortieth or fiftieth time since shooting started.  Things get blurry with that much repetition.

Just reason one-billion-and-twelfth why one should not talk to cops without a lawyer after being Mirandized.
The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.   -G'Kar

Bayraktar!

OttoVonBismarck

"Signed confession" is a super common trope in American police procedurals, not sure if that is why so much emphasis is being put on it. Now, that being said, signed confessions are of course real--and are of course the gold standard. But they don't have to be quite what you think.

There is an excellent video in which a detective with around 20 years experience, who is in his third year of law school, gives a speech to a class at that school about what happens when you talk to police. He notes a few important things:

1. Every police interview room is recorded for audio and video in this day and age. It will not be he-said, she-said if you confess verbally and then recant--it will be camera said vs you said, and that isn't going to work for you as the defendant.

2. Nothing says you have to put a document that says "Confession Form" in the suspect's hands. One of this guy's favorite things was to say "If you apologize for your actions, it will mean a lot to the family, and it will also help you with the judge." He then has them write detailed "apology letter" in their own words, in which they also happen to mention the illegal actions they took. Many suspects bewilderingly who would not sign something called a "confession", will sign an "apology letter." In court there is virtually no difference between those documents.

3. In the U.S. the police are also allowed to speak to you without a lawyer, I don't think that is any different in Canada vs the U.S. Many (maybe most) confessions in the American system do occur without a lawyer present. The police just need to get you to waive your right to counsel, which is achieved if you sign some paper for them disclaiming various rights and/or respond verbally in the affirmative to proceed with questioning in response to a Miranda warning. As the cop I mentioned above says, he's done around 3000 custodial interrogations over 20 years. There is functionally zero chance if you talk to him you're going to come out on top. He says the vast majority of defendants have a strong desire to "explain themselves" and a strong delusion that if they "use the right story" they can talk themselves out of trouble. These are both very bad instincts.

OttoVonBismarck

FWIW one of the big hitches for a case like Baldwin's is I don't think even the police believe he had mens rea, there was not any ill intent they were probably expecting to find. What they were wanting to establish was any potential evidence of negligence, I don't think they ever thought Baldwin did this on purpose. Whether they expected he would be prosecuted I'm not sure, I think given who he is and the specifics of the incident they probably assumed this would be a tough call the prosecutor would have to make.

While it is a little surprising she charged him, to me, a big red flag this was coming was when she requested specific funding be provisioned for a major prosecution--this is a very small population county with only like 3 staff attorneys and limited resources budgeted. I think their whole department's budget is like $350k/yr or something when I saw the article--she requested a $500k allotment to be approved in case it was needed for this case. I have to assume Baldwin will spend 7 figures very easily on his defense, and this local team of prosecutors will be significantly outgunned in terms of number of attorneys, frankly probably quality of attorneys, and unlike a lot of cases they are used to prosecuting Baldwin is going to have an army of his own experts--for example that gun report from the FBI they will probably have multiple experts who debunk it, the types who charge $30,000 per hour of court time and such.

viper37

Quote from: crazy canuck on January 25, 2023, 07:18:21 PM
Quote from: viper37 on January 25, 2023, 06:38:31 PM
Quote from: crazy canuck on January 25, 2023, 03:54:01 PMIt is always wise to exercise that right, and not speak to police without first speaking to a lawyer and having the lawyer present.
BB will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe in Canada, police have the right to question you without the presence of your attorney.

I seem to remember some critical distinction between America and Canada on that front.  But you still have the right to not answer their questions.

A poster above succinctly stated the three things police in Canada must do.  After giving those warnings, if a person decides to talk to the police, the police have no obligation to stop them from talking.  But the person does not have to say anything.
What I mean is, I am arrested by the police, or they ask to see me to ask me some questions.

As I am a now an expert in US criminal law after viewing so many tv shows 😁, i can now ask for my lawyer to be present for the interview, wether it was voluntary or not.  The US police corps will have to stop the interview until the lawyer arrives at the station.  Uless the criminal is charged with terrorism and immediatly deported off the USA.  Then it's something else....


But in Canada, apparently, while the inspector interrogates me, I do not have the right to a lawyer.  I have the right to remain silentl though.
I don't do meditation.  I drink alcohol to relax, like normal people.

If Microsoft Excel decided to stop working overnight, the world would practically end.

OttoVonBismarck

Eh, so the way U.S. TV presents it is fairly inaccurate in several respects because showing the real process is more tedious.

There's really two scenarios--a voluntary interview and a custodial interview. The major difference in each is what happens when you refuse to talk to police. In a voluntary interview, you can leave the police station or wherever it is that you are. In a custodial interview you are processed and put into holding and usually transferred to jail within a day or so.

In neither form of interview do police "get your lawyer", for one, almost zero people police interact with have a lawyer. Many need to secure a public defender, which doesn't happen instantly. If it's a custodial situation you go to jail and the court system will generally get a lawyer assigned to your case "at some point", but it is neither instant or as dramatic as it's portrayed on TV. It's generally less convenient to get a lawyer to help you in real life than portrayed in TV, most people in jail generally have to make a few phone calls to family and etc to get a lawyer lined up, it's not an instant process.

Also unlike in TV shows asking for a lawyer isn't like a magic muzzle on the cops. What it does mean is anything you say except for limited exceptions cannot be used against you at trial, but there are plenty of situations where the police will continue to talk to you for various reasons, not every verbal communication with police is necessarily designed to generate an incriminating statement. The police could say things to you to plant certain doubts in your mind that might affect what you do next and things of that nature.

Also worth mentioning when you make phone calls in holding or jail, if it's a discussion with a lawyer it is privileged, anyone else is not, lots of guys have been caught up admitting to crimes on jail phones.

Also the specific sequence seen on TV is often not how it plays out. Usually people go into interview rooms because they are willing to have a conversation with police. Most defendants who plan to say nothing make their desire for a lawyer known immediately upon entering custody, the overly dramatic scene of the Detective sitting you down in an interview room and you proclaiming "LAWYER" is not often mechanically how it goes down. Non-custodial situations if the person doesn't plan to speak they don't even go to the police station, they just decline the invitation and make it known they won't talk to the police without an attorney present.

grumbler

The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.   -G'Kar

Bayraktar!