Sunday, January 7, 2018

You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane

Nonfiction eBook
I stumbled upon You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane purely by accident while surfing on Amazon's website at the start of January 2018. 

I received two Amazon gift cards as Christmas gifts in 2017 from family members who know I love to read. So, I was looking for ebooks to purchase and read on my Kindle, when I came across You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane for $1.99.

After viewing the high star customer rating from readers who've read You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane on Amazon and also reading the summary, I was intrigued! I decided to buy You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane and began reading it.

You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane is a short nonfiction read at approximately 154 pages in length. This powerful little book discusses why one should not speak to the police without an attorney present, EVEN when you've not been arrested or charged with a crime and are only being asked to voluntarily speak with the police or other government official.

I found You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane to be a fascinating book to read. I have an entirely new perspective on what it means to talk to the police as an innocent person!! ANYTHING one says (however innocuous) to the police during an interview can be used to incriminate and used against an innocent person by the legal system to convict and send an innocent individual to jail... Do not talk to the police, PERIOD, without a lawyer being present is the VERY SIMPLE message of this book. There is an exception to this rule and it is discussed in the book.

James Duane is very qualified to talk about the law. I learned the following information about James Duane from reading his biography on his Amazon page:
James Duane received his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1981, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1984, where he was a classmate of United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Professor Duane has practiced civil litigation and criminal defense for nearly thirty years. He serves on the faculty at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he has received the Faculty Excellence Award three times. He also taught as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the fall of 2009 and 2011. He has served as a faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 2002. He is a member of the faculty at the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he has taught since 1995, and has also taught constitutional law at the National Litigation Academy. He is a member of the panel of academic contributors to Black’s Law Dictionary. 
Professor 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 has lectured at conferences and training sessions conducted by Hastings Law School, the College of William and Mary, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, among others. He is a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference of the Virginia Bar Association, and is admitted to practice before the courts of New York and Virginia, and numerous federal courts. In 2008, he gave a talk at Regent Law School about some of the reasons why even innocent criminal suspects should never agree to answer questions from the police, and that video has been viewed by millions of viewers on YouTube.
James Duane cites several real life instances where innocent people have been convicted of crimes they didn't commit because they talked willingly to the police when they thought they had nothing to hide because of their innocence. What these individuals said during police interviews was incriminating and the police were able to use what they said during the interrogation to convict them of a crime! And sometimes innocent individuals confessed to crimes they they didn't commit after long hours of being interrogated by the police.

James Duane also discusses why saying nothing to the police can be just as damaging as talking to the police. Also, pleading the 5th can be just as damaging as well and he states why in his book. James Duane also mentions what to say to the police and why when they want to speak with you.

As much as I enjoyed reading You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane and gained a new perspective on why not to speak to the police (especially if you're innocent), the downside for me of this book was that I felt at times like the writing was a tad bit sensationalized/over the top. I understand where James Duane is coming from and why he says not to talk to the police without a lawyer present... But now, after reading You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane, I'd be too terrified to speak with the police without a lawyer being present as it could jeopardize my personal freedom if I do so.

The following is a summary for You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane from Amazon:
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.
I am giving You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars. 

As far as my reading goals go for 2018, You Have The Right To Remain Innocent by James Duane is the 2nd of 12 books I plan to read, which I obtained after May 2014.

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. I think I learned this from reading police procedurals, etc. All reading is good reading!

    1. I've always know you want a lawyer present if you've been arrested, whether or not you are guilty or not... But even if the police want to interview you about anything that has happened in the past and it is voluntary on your part... DON'T DO IT, according to the book... The author explains why. What James Duane reveals is really eye opening! So many innocent people have been convicted of crimes they didn't commit after speaking with the police.

  2. Fancy needing a whole book for that pretty straightforward message. Cheers

    1. Hahahaha! Yes, well, a lawyer did write this book, so of course they're going to have a lot to say about the topic.

      Some legal history surrounding the 5th and 6th amendment are discussed in this book as well as several specific cases that actually back up what the author is saying and why it's important to keep your mouth shut at the right time.