Monday, June 20, 2005

O'Reilly on Coerced Confessions 

Well, this just happened.

Tired of the spin I was getting from mainstream newscasts, I decided to flip to The O'Reilly Factor during commercials on The Daily Show. During the first segment, O'Reilly was "interviewing" a guest about Durbin's comments - when I say "interview", I of course mean that O'Reilly was ranting and raving about how Durbin's comments hurt America's image abroad and endanger our troops.

When I flipped back, O'Reilly was doing an interview with Judge Napolitano about the murder in Aruba. It was actually a fairly rational discussion about criminal procedure under the Aruban system, and differences between that system and our system. Now, I may have accidentally switched back to The Daily Show, but I'm pretty sure the following exchange took place (paraphrased by me, of course, until I can find a transcript):
O'Reilly: Now, tell me... how long can they detain these suspects for?

Judge: Well, now, they can detain them a long time without filing charges, and that's something that's not just different than America, it's anti-American.

O'Reilly: Why do they do that?

Judge: That's how they do it in many European countries. They do it to break them down. Sure, they have a right to remain silent, but if they're in jail long enough, they'll eventually just tell the police what they think they want to here.

O'Reilly: But that confession would be coereced!

Judge: We'll see.
Yeah, convicting people on the basis of confessions that are coerced is pretty bad, something we'd expect to be "done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings."
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