Monday, January 07, 2008

People v. Jefferson (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 7, 2008)

Imagine that you and your homies have recently killed someone in a drive-by shooting. Someone who, as it turns out, was a totally innocent bystander. Oops. Bad Move #1.

The police drag you and one of your friends in for interrogation. Happens. You and your buddy both invoke your right to be silent. Smart. Good Move #1. Especially good (for you, anyway) since the police basically have no ahrd evidence against you anyway. So the only way you're going to be in trouble is if you talk. Which you seem to know, by the way. Smart again.

The police then put you, and, thereafter, your friend, into the same holding cell. Which, of course, they've bugged. Duh. You and your buddy then proceed to have a lengthy and detailed conversation in the bugged holding cell about your respective involvements in the shooting.

Oopsies. Bad Move #2. One that's putting you in prison for 25-to-life for first degree murder.

Mind you, I don't feel bad for you. Your call to pull the trigger, after all.

Still, as a life lesson, I make the following counsel: Whenever the police deliberately put you and your buddy in the same holding cell, assume that the cell is wired for sound. Have your incriminating conversation about the first-degree murder you committed, well, somewhere else. Anywhere else. Anywhere but a jail.

Probably a pretty good thing to remember.