An urgent, compact manifesto that will teach you how to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future when talking to police.
Law professor James J. Duane became a viral sensation thanks to a 2008 lecture outlining the reasons why you should never agree to answer questions from the police—especially if you are innocent and wish to stay out of trouble with the law. In this timely, relevant, and pragmatic new book, he expands on that presentation, offering a vigorous defense of every citizen’s constitutionally protected right to avoid self-incrimination. Getting a lawyer is not only the best policy, Professor Duane argues, it’s also the advice law-enforcement professionals give their own kids.
Using actual case histories of innocent men and women exonerated after decades in prison because of information they voluntarily gave to police, Professor Duane demonstrates the critical importance of a constitutional right not well or widely understood by the average American. Reflecting the most recent attitudes of the Supreme Court, Professor Duane argues that it is now even easier for police to use your own words against you. This lively and informative guide explains what everyone needs to know to protect themselves and those they love.
“James Duane’s amazing but true stories of innocent people exonerated after decades of wrongful imprisonment (which could have been avoided if they had just insisted on their fundamental right to avoid self-incrimination) are riveting reminders of the high price we pay, as individuals and as a society, when we fail to assert our constitutional rights.” —Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Law School
“In this quick and wonderful read, one of America’s most eloquent writers on legal subjects makes clear why you should never, ever answer police questions about your past conduct, however virtuous and civic-minded you may be. You Have the Right to Remain Innocent describes a stream of miscarriages of justice that occurred only because innocent suspects cooperated with deceptive officers preying on their ignorance and good intentions. The book makes its case with verve and passion, and even if you are a tough-on-crime conservative or a police chief, it is likely to persuade you.” —Albert W. Alschuler, University of Chicago Law School
“James Duane is an experienced criminal defense lawyer and a tough-minded legal scholar. This is not just a book of advice; it is a passionate and disturbing critique of the rules governing police interrogations in the United States. It repays careful reading.” —David Alan Sklansky, Stanford University Law School
“The stories in You Have the Right to Remain Innocent will help you remember why you should not talk to the police, and exactly how to assert your rights. This book could save you—or your children—years of imprisonment for a crime committed by someone else. Read it and then make sure your kids read it too.” —Randy E. Barnett, Georgetown University Law School
“If you'd like to read short sentences that can save you from serving long sentences, get this book and do what it says!” —Judge Alex Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
“As James Duane argues convincingly in his book, the judicial hypocrisy that permits police deception is outrageous and dangerous. You Have the Right to Remain Innocent is funny, sad, and full of information that all citizens need for their protection.” —Charles R. Nesson, Harvard Law School
“Well-informed, scary, sobering, and sure to tick off police officers and prosecutors even as it contributes to keeping innocent people out of jail.” —Kirkus Reviews
James J. Duane is a professor at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he received the Faculty Excellence Award in the fall of 2002. Duane has been interviewed about legal matters on television and radio, including National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and has testified before the Advisory Committee of the United States Judicial Conference on the Federal Rules of Evidence. He is the coauthor, with Glen Weissenberger, of Federal Rules of Evidence: Rules, Legislative History, Commentary and Authority and is a member of the panel of academic contributors to Black’s Law Dictionary. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School.