Posted October 12, 2018 07:01:13 A lawyer may ask a witness, for example, to give them the documents that were in their possession when the crime occurred.
That can help them determine if the witness was the victim, the person who committed the crime or both, and whether the witness has a legal right to remain silent, according to a study released this month by the law firm of Morrison, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP.
“Lawyers are often asked to determine whether an accused person has a right to be silent, and they’re also asked to examine whether the accused person’s right to silence is a privilege or a right,” says Paul Gifford, the firm’s president.
The practice is called due process, and is used when there’s a dispute over the veracity of a person’s testimony.
The study examined cases in which an accused was killed or injured and was being interrogated by a police officer.
It found that nearly 60 percent of the time, the accused was never informed that he or she had a right not to be interrogated.
And almost 40 percent of those accused were never given a lawyer’s written instruction about the right not for a witness to give evidence, nor was a lawyer assigned to the case.
In some cases, police also questioned the accused before releasing him or her to the accused’s family.
The police also told the accused that the death of the accused could be attributed to the defendant or another person, but that he/she could also be the perpetrator, according the study.
In addition to providing information about the accused, police might also ask witnesses to sign statements about their roles in the crime, Giffard says.
The researchers found that while the accused is generally entitled to a lawyer if he or her testimony is questioned, the practice does not generally allow for a lawyer to intervene in the proceedings if it would prevent a defendant from testifying, and does not allow a lawyer, even if the accused has been convicted, to review the verdict of the trial.
The firm is a partner at the law firms of Covington & Burling LLP and Jones Day, which is representing the accused in the case against the police.
Giffords says he hopes the study, published in the Journal of Law and Society, will encourage law enforcement to better protect their officers, and to allow the accused the opportunity to be heard in a court of law.
“The police can’t always be there for you if you’re not there,” he says.
“If the police aren’t doing their job, then they can’t do their job.
So I think it’s a great opportunity to educate them.”