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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
April 22, 2013

Question submitted by grantcart

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April 22, 2013

A comment about META topics.

I have noticed a lot of confusion about whether or not META topics and their place at DU.

A general, but incorrect, assumption has become common that META-like topics, i.e. topics that discuss the over arching nature of DU, face a strict prohibition at DU because the META forum was eliminated.

I suggest that this is not true.

META topics are not prohibited by the GD SOP which is reprinted here:

Discuss politics, issues, and current events. No posts about Israel/Palestine, religion, guns, showbiz, or sports unless there is really big news. No conspiracy theories. No whining about DU.

To test this theory I offered this entirely META thread in GD that was not locked:


I suggest that if someone wanted to post, a purely hypothetical example, a thread titled "A statistical analysis of how DU is obsessed about domestic issues and ignores foreign policy" and that OP went on to document with objective statistics and then discuss how this is a harmful trend, that this would not be contrary to the SOP because while it would be both META and critical of DU it would not be whining.

On the other hand the much more ubiquitous DU meta expression along the lines of "DU sucks" would, quite clearly, be whining and against the SOP.

Do you agree with this assessment?

April 20, 2013

Miranda Exception: "Voluntariness is the linchpin of the admissibility".

Got up and saw that the Miranda exception was still a hot topic at DU.

I Googled the subject and was surprised that the FBI page was at the top of the list.

Further surprised to find that their page on the exception was so good

It includes detailed information about Miranda like this:

The strength of the Miranda decision is its clarity in its nearly unwavering protection of a suspect's Fifth Amendment protection against self incrimination. The commitment to this rule is so strong that the Supreme Court has recognized only one exception to the Miranda rule—the "public safety" exception—which permits law enforcement to engage in a limited and focused unwarned interrogation and allows the government to introduce the statement as direct evidence.

It then details the reason for the exception and how and why it should be used, and this important detail about how it cannot be used. I think most people at DU will find the entire article one of today's best "Good Reads".



Voluntariness is the linchpin of the admissibility of any statement obtained as a result of government conduct.43 Thus, statements obtained by the government under the public safety exception cannot be coerced or obtained through tactics that violate fundamental notions of due process.44 Here, it is worth mentioning that prior to the Miranda decision, the only test used to determine the admissibility of statements in federal court was whether the statement was voluntarily made within the requirements of the due process clause.45 This test requires that a court review the "totality of the circumstances" to determine whether the subject's will was overborne by police conduct. If a court finds that the questioning of a subject, even in the presence of a situation involving public safety, violated due process standards, the statement will be suppressed.46

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