Chad Perrin: SOB

18 June 2008

My Cousin Vinnie and the Criminal Justice System

Filed under: Humor,Liberty — apotheon @ 03:35

Do you feel a need for a pop-culture demonstration of the advisability of keeping your trap shut when dealing with the police? Try this on for size:

My Cousin Vinnie could serve as an object lesson in the dangers of the US criminal justice system.


  1. So true. As campy as that movie is, it bears a lot of wisdom.

    Comment by SterlingCamden — 18 June 2008 @ 05:34

  2. imdb doesn’t have the quote, but it’s something like:

    officer testifying: the defendant repeated, “i shot the clerk”

    Comment by sosiouxme — 19 June 2008 @ 10:27

  3. I still don’t understand why statements you make to the police can be used one way but not the other. That’s patently unfair and at the very least, immoral.

    Comment by Joseph A Nagy Jr — 20 June 2008 @ 06:49

  4. I heard a 1 hour internet broadcast on this topic, including situations entailing more than just talking. One thing I recall: the police have come to your house with a warrant to scarf you, you have wisely stepped out of the house to deal with them. They try talking to you before they arrest you, you wisely clam up. BUT, there you are in your PJs and bunny slippers, they execute the warrant then say something nice to you, or seemingly so, they ask if you want to go in, freshen up a bit, put some decent cloths on before you go.

    Do NOT. Go in your PJs, or wrapped in a towel if that’s how you’re attired. Once they “own” you, they can and will “escort” you wherever they go. If you drag them in your house, they have just secured the right to ransack the joint looking for anything, whether it’s on the warrant or not.

    I have a buddy with his own show, lives in Alaska. He’s quite the researcher, he’s just completed proving the IRS has no enforcement authority over ordinary people, all it’s “power” s clearly enforceable only upon federal employees.

    But one of his suggestions is know what the police call the “use of force continuum,” and that when you are pulled over there is a seizure in progress. They are going to have their way, and the force they use will escalate all the way to deadly force if they deem fit. So he has a procedure for dealing with a traffic stop.

    Ask the cop (first thing) “am I under arrest?” …of course he says “no,” so you ask “am I free to go then?” …he’ll likely also say “no,” so you acknowledge there is a seizure in effect and say “ok, then I cannot proceed without the assistance of counsel.” Insist. Maybe identify yourself, but repeat the line. No matter what happens next there is nothing that can be used in any court after you have gone on the record that you want counsel.

    BTW in the REAL law “counsel” is NOT synonymous with “lawyer.”

    Comment by cat — 23 June 2008 @ 06:39

  5. Interesting point, cat. I don’t know if that would be the first thing I do in a traffic stop — but it’s certainly something I’ll keep in mind if a stop ever looks like it’s going past a ticket.

    Comment by apotheon — 23 June 2008 @ 09:51

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