Tuesday, April 15, 2008

John Grisham's "The Innocent Man"

Melody bought John Grisham's book, "The Innocent Man" and I'm borrowing it from her. I only started it today, so saying I'm not far into it is something of an understatement.

As Americans, do we actually know what our rights are? Do we care? The innocent man. How many people have been charged with crimes they didn't commit? Whose fault is it - the officers interrogating them or those charged?

When I worked at Steak 'n Shake, I had several late-night conversations with the cops who came in to annoy us and left several hours later, having barely tipped at all. That's not the point. The point is this: Did you know that a police officer can file a complaint against you for up to six months after it occurred?

Did you know that if you invite a police officer into your home he/she has the right to search your house? One told me that you can say, "You look thirsty, why don't you step into the kitchen for the drink," which then limits the rooms the officer can search to the kitchen.

Does it make you look guilty to ask for a warrant? Maybe. But whether or not you have something to hide, that's probably the best way to go. Does it make you look guilty to ask for a lawyer? Maybe, but whether or not you committed a crime, it sure is a good idea to ask for one.

If you don't, you could end up like dozens of others: booked for a crime that you didn't commit.


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