Further to today’s earlier post, one of — if not my favorite — reporters, Kirk Makin of the Globe and Mail explains why the SCC was so keen to look at a suspect’s rights during interrogation.
What I’ve always found interesting about police interrogations is how in their efforts to get at the truth, police can lie their faces off to a suspect.
They said that suspects can easily become confused when they are confronted by police with bits and pieces of real or fictional evidence. Believing there is no hope, they may be induced to give up their right to silence.
“The right to counsel – and by extension, its meaningful exercise, cannot be made to depend on an interrogator’s opinion as to its opportunity or utility,” they said.
In the first case, the Court majority ruled that self-incriminating statements from Trent Terrence Sinclair, who was being interrogated about an alcohol-induced killing, were admissible at his trial.
If you’re planning on, or perhaps think you’re going to wind up on the wrong side of an interrogation (as I did, to a degree — it’s no fun, believe me), read Makin’s article to bone up on what you can expect from the law of the land when you’re in that little room at your neighbourhood police station.
PS – the 600 plus comments on the Globe/Makin article are fascinating, and virtually all of them say the same thing: Shut the hell up. And, then, generally speaking, you have to tell police your name, address and show ID. That’s it.
The rest is gravy to them.
Consider yourselves warned.
UPDATE: Another of my faves, Brian Lilley of Sun Media has also written on the SCC’s decision, which must have caused no end of internal debate.