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Twin Cities Carry Forum Archive • View topic - Public opinion consequences of refusing to talk to the media
 
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 Public opinion consequences of refusing to talk to the media 
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Everyone, please quit conflating talking to the police with talking to the media. They're different issues. Believe me, I get it with regard to police, and I think I made that clear in the opening post. If anyone wants to make the case that talking to the police is a good idea, or beat a dead horse by proclaiming it's a bad idea, start your own thread.

This thread is specifically about the media, and how a consequence of the widespread "don't talk to anyone" approach is that the public relations goals of the carry movement are not served. I pose the hypothesis that a complete refusal to talk to anyone is probably not necessary or perhaps not even helpful as a legal defense strategy, noting in particular that hearsay is not admissible in court, and the track record of prosecutors and law enforcement in subpoenaing reporters for their notes and unpublished tapes is poor.

And on that subject, I'd be delighted to read what anyone has to post.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:48 pm 
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Did you miss Lawyer in Training's post? (He's far too modest -- he's a real lawyer now.)

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I can think of at least two exceptions to the general hearsay rule that might get this admitted in court, and possibly using it for impeachment if Mr. Ersland testifies.

Did I miss the "statements made to the press aren't admissible" rule during Evidence? Or is that just a Florida specific exception?

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:32 am 
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I would be delighted if L.I.T. or another knowledgeable person would elucidate the two exceptions to the hearsay rule that might apply.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:41 am 
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MostlyHarmless wrote:
I would be delighted if L.I.T. or another knowledgeable person would elucidate the two exceptions to the hearsay rule that might apply.

1. it is not hearsay for someone to use your own words against you, whether stated to the police or a reporter/media

2. it is not hearsay for someone to use your own words against you, whether stated to the police or a reporter/media

(for the non-lawyers....that is often called an "admission against interest".)

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:58 am 
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I'll leave the legal debate to others.

I fail to see any benefit to talking to the. largely, anti-gun and anti-self-defense media. Your words will be twisted to show you as the mouth breathing, knuckle dragging murdering redneck they're already convinced you are.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:03 am 
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"Anything you say can be used against you."

That means anyting you say to anybody, ever, folks. And it means anyting whether it's true or not, and whether you think it is for or against your interest, or even if you think the statement is not relevant to the incident.

A good lawyer (hell, even a bad lawyer) can spin ANYTHING at trial. If nothing else, they can argue that you were being "evasive" or simply lying or even mistaken when you spoke, or that your statements were inconsistant with some other evidence or fact they developed at a later time. It's what lawyers do.

But, even though virtually every lawyer or disinterested cop would tell folks to just say "lawyer" and shut up, most people really think they can improve on this advice a little by only saying the "right" things.

Cops also know you will talk to your friends and family later. After a couple of weeks, they'll suddenly talk to your friends and family as well.

But if you say nothing, there is nothing to spin. 8)


Last edited by Dick Unger on Fri May 29, 2009 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:05 am 
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Dick Unger wrote:
"Anything you say can be used against you."



Close....

Anything you say can and will be used against you.

(Note...not disagreeing...reinforcing!)

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:40 am 
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Perhaps this is what Mostly is getting at:

The News Beast must be fed, if you try to lock yourself away and say nothing, they will hound you because they think there is a story they have a right to publish. By having an interface between the person involved in the DGU and the Beast, the reporters will be able to file a story and appease their editors / producers. Anything said to the media must be bland, saying nothing about the case and approved by your lawyer.

I have somewhere a paper written by a journalist that covered the pros and cons and gave some examples of what to say, I'll try and dig it up.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:32 am 
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OK, without "conflating", so as not to annoy Mostly, here goes-

Anything you say to "the media" is going to be on the record, whether written in the Strib, or in the video recordings made by TV news. All of which is admissible at trial. In fact, it's worse than that, as I understand the law- you have none of the same protections speaking to a reporter that you do speaking to the police.

In short, the only words in my vocabulary following (God forbid!) a shooting are "I need to speak with my lawyer."

Standard disclaimer: IANAL, YMMV, some restrictions may apply, see store for details.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:17 am 
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MostlyHarmless wrote:
This thread is specifically about the media, and how a consequence of the widespread "don't talk to anyone" approach is that the public relations goals of the carry movement are not served. I pose the hypothesis that a complete refusal to talk to anyone is probably not necessary or perhaps not even helpful as a legal defense strategy, noting in particular that hearsay is not admissible in court, and the track record of prosecutors and law enforcement in subpoenaing reporters for their notes and unpublished tapes is poor.

And on that subject, I'd be delighted to read what anyone has to post.


It's the probably and perhaps that I find fault with here. If I'm involved in a DGU, I'm going to shut my piehole and do what my lawyer recommends.

If my lawyers recommended course of action also helps "the public relations goals of the carry movement" that's a bonus. If not, movement be damned. I'm pretty sure that carry will continue without my being a poster child, on the other hand I'm also pretty sure that the "carry movement" won't have my back in the showers at Stillwater.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:22 am 
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One thought that occurred to me was that the Treptow 911 call was released to the media shortly after the incidenent he had been involved in. His words from the 911 call are available to the procecutors and defense alike. Whether what he said in the course of that call are to his benefit or detriment will be determined in all probability at trial. I guess my point is EVERYTHING and ANYTHING one might say could cause things to go "egg-shaped" (a reference I borrow from Joel). That fact just reinforces to me the concept of saying absolutely-positively as little as possible to ANYONE with the exception of your lawyer.

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Did you miss Lawyer in Training's post? (He's far too modest -- he's a real lawyer now.)


Congrats L.I.T. I guess you can now go forward and "PRACTICE" law :shock: . Darn I love that term. :wink: :D

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the "Legal Eagles" that share there knowledge with the rest of us. I tip my hat to one and all. :!:

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:33 am 
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Scott Hughes wrote:
could cause things to go "egg-shaped"

Pear-shaped maybe?

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:55 am 
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You are correct sir. :oops: Thanks Dean :) TGIF :bang:

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:11 am 
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cryptical wrote:
on the other hand I'm also pretty sure that the "carry movement" won't have my back in the showers at Stillwater.

:lol:
Well said. Gives one pause, doesn't it?

(Well, maybe not Nords... He knows the right things to say. :wink: )

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:21 pm 
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I'm fairly certain that the media wouldn't be interested in printing anything that I would have to say to them. And I'd even put my tooth in to say it.

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