Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Warrants and the Such

So, the entire 1L class has been working diligently on this memo (which is in fact the bane of my existence) and one of the central issue involved the fine line between an arrest a "terry" stop and frish and a consensual police encounter. In the pursuit of our education in this matter one of the legal writing
proffessors decided to bring some examples up for discussion to illustrate the point:

1. If you were were walking down the street and a police officer was walking towards you and said hello as you pasted, what sort of encounter would this be? Do you feel safe in walking away from this encounter? Do you feel coerced and threatened in any way?

Really teacher... I think at the point that we're in law school we'll be able to walk by a cop, say hi, and somehow resist the urge to run off. Hopefully. But if you do run off....I am pretty sure the consnensual encounter would escalate to a higher level. Cops usually get suspicious if you run from them or refuse to return a pleasantrie in the street. They're still people!!!

2. If you were standing on a street corner and a police officer parked near you and asked you a few questions about your identity and about what you were doing, are you under arrest? Are you free to walk away? Do you feel threatened?

Well... I don't usually stand on a street corner, and depending on the neighborhood I could see how standing around (perhaps while everyone else is at work or asleep???) How about... if you're not doing anything illegal.... just answer the questions, be normal, don't run, don't pull out a weapon. Just answer the questions and move on.

3. If the police have entered your house to execute a search warrant, you are handcuffed on the ground but not in a police car, are you under arrest? Do you feel free to leave?

No... I am not free to leave, I have handcuffs on and the police is rummaging through nmy house. This is a great time to say NOTHING. Just keep your mouth shut and be under arrest.


Even dumber then these examples would be the type of student who would be stumped by them. I can imagine one of my classmates sitting there chewing his pencil, thinking, "well he diiiiid say hi.... that would be sorta like you are under arrest....".

So thanks professor, I appreciate if you would stop assuming we are stupid. Thanks :)

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