When Regent University law professor James Duane first delivered his “Don’t Talk to the Police!” lecture back in 2008, he likely had no idea that it would go viral again nearly a decade later.
Duane’s lecture, which encourages people to exercise their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, has been getting renewed attention in the wake of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” documentary, which covers the trial of Steven Avery, who was found guilty in 2007 of killing photographer Teresa Halbach.
“I decided I would talk to them about the Fifth Amendment,” Duane recently told The Church Boys podcast, explaining that he delivered the lecture to his audience at the time because he believed that the contents of this amendment are “poorly understood by the average guy on the street.”
Listen to Duane break down the Fifth Amendment — and his advice that you not “talk to the police” — below:
A clip from that lecture has been viewed nearly nine million times since it was posted on Facebook by the Insider on Jan. 5, with the outlet noting that fans have tied Duane’s 2008 recommendations to the case against Avery, which was built, in part, by comments made by his nephew to police.
While Duane, who is also a criminal defense attorney, hasn’t yet watched “Making a Murderer” and couldn’t speak specifically to the case that the documentary covers, he did address the importance of people refraining from speaking to authorities without a lawyer present.
“It’s too easy, frankly, for the police to induce suspects into giving up their right to remain silent and talk,” he said on the podcast. “And it’s easier than it ought to be at trial for jurors to be duped or deceived into thinking that they ought to hold it against the defendant or suspect that he must be guilty of something if he chose to exercise his right to remain silent.”
See the recent clip that has gone viral below:
A professor tricked his law students into lying, and it exposed a huge weakness in our justice system.
Posted by INSIDER on Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Duane said that the Fifth Amendment protects both the guilty and the innocent people, and that both can get themselves into major trouble by speaking with the police.
“Even innocent people who tell the truth to the police are often astounded to find that they just made the biggest mistake of their life and they’ve just given the police information that can be used, in fact, to convict them of a crime they did not commit,” he said. “It actually happens all the time.”
If a police officer knocks on the door without a warrant, he said his advice would be not to speak with them, unless the circumstance surrounds an individual calling authorities for help, or voluntarily assisting authorities with a case to which they are a witness.
“I’d give that individuals the same advice that police officers give to their own children,” he said, noting that many cops tell their own family, “Don’t ever talk to the police.”
Watch the entire “Don’t Talk to the Police!” lecture below:
Duane, who is working on a book about this very subject, was also very careful to note that his warning has nothing to do with deriding police or being anti-cop, but that his continued support of his 2008 lecture is rooted in helping citizens protect their constitutional rights.
“Everybody in a free society like ours owes a great debt of gratitude to these people who risk so much,” he said of police.
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