Prosecutors hate quiet defendants. In fact they will go to great lengths to get them to talk, especially to confess. In New York City over the past few years, Assistant District Attorney's will go into the holding pens known as Central Booking and actually interview these arrested folks, telling them that this is their only chance to talk to a prosecutor before arraignment and that it may result (during a blue moon)in a dismissal of their case. Certainly the Prosecutor will check out anything they tell them (like their alibi which really means he will send a detective down to take partial statements from alibi witnesses and screw up a defendants alibi allowing them to convict many more innocent people.)
The way these interviews begin is for the prosecutor to tell their spiel to the defendants BEFORE THE DEFENDENTS ARE GIVEN THEIR "MIRANDA" RIGHTS.(Miranda warnings give a defendant their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney.) After they have promised them to listen to their stories then give Prosecutors read in the rights. It is a "Bull Shit" way to use gentle coercion to get a confession or admission. (Pardon the language but really can you think of a more blunt way to say it??)
What do I mean? Well, the ADAs are promising to listen to them, but in reality, the ADAs want to convict them (I know DA Brown will say that isn't true but if that were the case, why not let them speak to their own attorneys first and then let the lawyer decide if is in the best interest of the client to speak to the prosecutor. After all that is how they show it on Law and Order.)These ADAs are overcoming arrestee's will to assert their rights by promising something may happen for them if they do not assert their rights.
Remember where these people are when this is done. They are completely at the hands of the government. They have no advocate of their own there and are not entitled to one. If they don't speak to the prosecutor they don't have to, but they aren't going to see a judge until they have gone through this little ritual.
Holding pens in NYC hold defendants for 24 hours or more. After a few hours smashed in with 20 other people, with nowhere to sit without access to family or lawyers, these folks will do anything if they think it will get them out faster.
One Queens judge has threatened to look into the ethics of this behavior. The Honorable Joel Blumenfeld has a decision coming that may discuss among other things the legal ethics of a prosecutor saying and doing the things that the prosecutor says in Queens County NY. Now Courts look at ethical issues all the time, but DA Brown doesn't want Joel Blumenfeld, a former criminal DEFENSE Attorney to rule on that issue. So DA Brown has brought an order to show cause against the good judge to stop him from discussing the ethics behind the activity IN HIS JUDICIAL DECISION!!!
Unbelievable. Absurd. Legal ethics and violations thereof are perfectly good reasons to suppress evidence. (For example if a defense attorney "Friends" a victim on Facebook by pretending to be someone other than himself, the evidence he gets from that is not usable in the case. That isn't because it isn't good evidence, it is because such behavior is unethical for lawyers to engage in.)
On the up side, it is unlikely a fellow jurist will tell Blumenfeld he can't write his opinion the way he wants. It is supposed to be an INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY!
Oh did I forget to mention, DA Brown USED to be an Appellate Division Judge. I wonder how he would have taken to being told he couldn't discuss an ethical issue in a decision.
As for you readers out there I cannot point out how important it is to get a lawyer for your friends who are arrested or if you are arrested how important it is not to speak to ANYONE without first speaking to your OWN lawyer. Most of the people who give statements give them because they are waiting for LEgal Aid or an 18b lawyer (free lawyer from the court) to be appointed. DO NOT WAIT!! Get yourself a good lawyer right away and have him notify the prosecutor that you or your friend is represented by counsel and may not be spoken to by them without that lawyer being present.
IF you need a lawyer even in the middle of the night, I will take this opportunity to remind you that you can call my office 24/7/365 and speak to a lawyer if you or a friend or loved one has been arrested and is awaiting arraignment. You can reach us at 516-741-3400. DAY OR NIGHT. Weekday or weekend, holidays too!!
Hat Tip: The NY TImes