Another in the annals of.

The Louisiana court system, all the way up to the State’s Supreme Court, has upheld police denial of a (black) defendant’s demand for a lawyer during a police interrogation.  At one point during the interrogation, the suspect said, quite clearly IMNSHO,

If y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.

The Supreme Court said the suspect’s statement was too ambiguous to constitute a demand for a lawyer.  Justice Scott Chrichton, in concurring, actually wrote in all seriousness,

In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a “lawyer dog” does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview….

Elie Mystal, in his article at the link, generously attributed the ruling to an inaccurate transcript—”lawyer dog” vice the defendant’s clearly stated “lawyer, dawg,” even as he, rightly, decried the blatant racism in denying the suspect his lawyer.  Over that “ambiguity.”

I’m not so inclined.  Even without the comma, “lawyer dog” is a pretty clear slang phrase identifying the object of the suspect’s call.


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