Friday, April 8, 2022

the last book I ever read (Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution, excerpt five)

from Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution by Elie Mystal:

In the real world, the strength of your Fifth Amendment protections depends on your level of legal education or exposure to the law. I know to never talk to the police without an attorney present, because I’ve been to law school. Every lawyer, every person who had a lawyer for a parent, every person who made it through a first-year course on criminal law knows not to talk to the police, no matter what the police offer who in exchange for talking. If the police suspect you of a crime, get a lawyer. If the police don’t suspect you of a crime, shut up before you talk yourself into becoming a suspect.

The Fifth Amendment is a litmus test of whether you have enough education (from the books or from the streets) to know it exists. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Your constitutional rights aren’t supposed to change depending on whether you know they exist.

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