[Ads-l] Miranda and the Louisiana Lawyer Dog: a case of talking while black

Baron, Dennis E debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Sat Nov 4 11:40:23 EDT 2017

As promised, here’s my post on the Louisiana lawyer dog Black English case:

Talking while black cost Warren Demesme his Miranda rights in Louisiana.

In a 6-1 decision, on Oct. 27 the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Warren N. Demesme, in jail in Orleans Parish since January of the previous year while he awaits trial on a count of first degree rape and another of “sexual misconduct with a juvenile under the age of thirteen.” During questioning Demesme confessed, but he later asked the court to throw out that confession because police ignored his request for an attorney, one of the “Miranda” rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

The court is not required to explain why it refused to hear the appeal, but in order “to spotlight the very important constitutional issue regarding the invocation of counsel during a law enforcement interview,” Scott J. Crichton, one of the court’s judges, wrote in a concurrence<https://www.lasc.org/opinions/2017/17KK0954.sjc.addconc.pdf> that police did not have to stop their questioning after Demesme’s request because he asked for a “lawyer dog,” not a lawyer. . .

Read the rest of the post on the Web of Language:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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