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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66327 Find in a Library
Title: POLICE INTERROGATION AND THE RIGHT TO SEE A SOLICITOR ENGLAND
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW  Dated:(MARCH 1979)  Pages:145-152
Author(s): J BALDWIN; M MCCONVILLE
Corporate Author: Sweet and Maxwell
Marketing Director
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Sweet and Maxwell
London, NW3 3PF, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE INTERROGATION OF SUSPECTS BY THE POLICE IN BRITAIN IS DISCUSSED AND THEIR RIGHT TO SEE A SOLICITOR EXAMINED IN A STUDY OF 352 TRIALS.
Abstract: THIS STUDY EXAMINED CONTESTED TRIALS SELECTED OUT OF A SAMPLE OF 500. EACH DEFENDANT WHO HAD PLEADED NOT GUILTY WAS INTERVIEWED. OF THOSE INTERVIEWED, 129 WERE ACQUITTED IN THE INSTANT CASE AND SLIGHTLY MORE THAN A THIRD OF THIS GROUP HAD NO PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD. DETAILS WERE ALSO SOUGHT IN THE INTERVIEWS OF DEFENDANTS DID NOT MAKE ANY REQUEST TO SEE A LAWYER, AND OF THOSE WHO DID, OVER THREE-QUARTERS HAD THEIR REQUESTS REJECTED BY THE POLICE. THE MOST STRKING FINDING TO EMERGE WAS THAT FEWER THAN 1 IN 10 DEFENDANTS WERE INTERROGATED BY THE POLICE IN THE PRESENCE OF A SOLICITOR. MANY WERE UNAWARE OF THEIR RIGHT TO CONSULT A LAWYER. OTHERS SAID THEY MADE NO REQUEST TO SEE A LAWYER BECAUSE THEY WERE INNOCENT AND THOUGHT NO CHARGES WOULD BE PREFERRED AGAINST THEM. A FINAL GROUP WERE AWARE OF THEIR LEGAL RIGHTS, YET FELT IT WAS POINTLESS TO ASK FOR A LAWYER BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED THE REQUEST WOULD BE REFUSED. INTERVIEWS WITH POLICE OFFICERS IN CHARGE OF THE 500 CASES REVEALED MASSIVE ANTIPATHY TOWARDS HAVING LAWYERS PRESENT WHEN DEFENDANTS WERE FIRST INTERVIEWED. OF THE 32 DEFENDANTS WHO HAD A LAWYER PRESENT WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY, 20 WERE NONETHELESS CONVICTED AT TRIAL. THE RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT, IF EVIDENCE IN A TRIAL CANNOT BE VALIDATED, IT CANNOT BE RELIABLE. THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF ENSURING THAT EVIDENCE IS RELIABLE APART FROM HAVING LAWYERS AT THE TRIAL, AND URGENT CONSIDERATION MUST BE GIVEN TO THESE. A THOROUGH OVERHAUL AND MORE DETAILED SCRUTINY OF CURRENT PRACTICES ARE URGENTLY CALLED FOR. FOOTNOTES ARE GIVEN. (MJW) URGENT CONSIDERATION MUST BE GIVEN TO THESE. A THOROUGH OVERHAUL AND MORE DETAILED SCRUTINY OF CURRENT PRACTICES ARE URGENTLY CALLED FOR. FOOTNOTES ARE GIVEN. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Citizen legal problems; Defense counsel; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Interview and interrogation; Right to counsel; Rights of the accused; Suspect interrogation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66327

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