Friday, November 30, 2007

That's One Less Right We Have

In a recent post I stated that when arrested Canadians do have a constitutional right to remain silent. According to today's article this is no more.

Well, it still does technically exist. But it seems more imaginary than concrete. Yes, you can remain silent. You have that right. You don't have to talk during interrogation.

But police can still interrogate you to their heart's content.

I haven't been in that situation, but I can imagine it would be hard to not say anything when they keep harping on you. Let's compare mental states, shall we? But before we do, take a look at this second article saying we have one centre in our brains for self-control. After exercising that area, it gets tired and becomes harder to use. From the article:
"As humans, we have limited resources to control ourselves, researchers say; all acts of control draw from one source. So when using this resource in one domain, such as dieting, we’re more likely to run out of it in another domain, like studying hard. "
The police, usually with more than one present, have strength in numbers. They're the hunting, not the hunted. They're not being worn down. At the end of the day, they take you back to your cell. They go home to their families, have a sleep, come back the next day ready to roll again.

The suspect has had his life interrupted. He's taken from his world and locked in a cell with a bunch of other people he likely doesn't know. He's constantly being hounded with questions by trained interrogators. They're professionals. He may have never been in this situation before. He may know he doesn't have to say anything, but his resistance is wearing down. You can only say "I have nothing to say. I don't want to talk about it." so many times. While the police are at home being rejuvenated and refreshed with their families in their comfortable houses, delicious dinners, and warm beds, the suspect is in a cell with a number of others, with no privacy, no comfort, no freedom, and probably little-to-no sleep. Only fear and fatigue.

It is also known that with enough interrogation you can get people to confess to just about anything.

Wow. The Supreme Court of Canada really dropped the ball on this one.

If you live in Canada then I implore you to write your MP. This ruling cannot be fixed in the courts. The highest court in the land made this ruling. The fix now needs to come from parliament.

You can find out who your MP is, by your postal code, from this page.

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