You, The Murderer - A Journey Through the Justice System Part One

Blog Category: The Justice System
Posted on: 10 August 2010

You have just been arrested on suspicion of murder. You may or may not be guilty. You may have been caught in the act, with blood on your hands. You may have confessed, tormented by guilt. You may have escaped justice for 30 years. You may even have been accused of a crime you did not commit. Whatever the circumstances, in legal terms you are innocent until proven guilty. Either way you're going down to the police station for questioning.

An officer tells you: 'You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.' In other words, you have the right to remain silent but the jury might hold it against you. Or not, depending on how persuasive your lawyer is at trial.

You confirm you understand the caution. You can offer an opinion at this point, but the police officer will record it in his notebook and it may be used against you in court.

At the station you have to give your name, address and date of birth. The police have the right to take your fingerprints, a DNA sample and your photograph. They may also take your clothing and provide you with an evidence suit. You are then placed in a cell to await interview.

You have the right to legal advice. You can either phone a lawyer you know or rely on a duty solicitor. You speak to your solicitor, who will be present during the interview.

Your interview is recorded on tape. The detectives ask you a lot of questions. They question you about your family, your background and your lifestyle, as well as the offence you are suspected of committing. They often ask the same questions in different ways. They can question you without charge for 24 hours, or 36 hours if an officer of the rank of Superintendent or above gives authorisation. Or up to 96 hours if a Magistrate agrees to an application by the police.

Your solicitor will normally advise you to make no comment. You do not have to follow his advice. You could answer some or all of the questions. You could issue a prepared statement. The police will still ask you a lot of questions. They may present you with evidence, such as CCTV footage, witness statements and photographs of the scene.

At the end of the interview you could be released on police bail or charged with murder. You are charged with murder. You will not be walking out of the police station. You will be kept in custody until your appearance before the nearest Magistrates' Court the next day. It will be your first public outing as an accused killer.

Part Two

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At 07:56:29 on 16 August 2010,  pyllis wrote:

omg dats well scary!!!

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