The 'Adnarim Statement'

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The 'Adnarim Statement'

"Adnarim" (ad·NAH·rim) – a 2010 coinage by Bloomfield Press1 book publisher Alan Korwin to describe the pre­emptive recitation of one's Fifth Amendment rights im­mediately upon interacting with anyone in the law enforcement community.

Simply put, one shouldn't wait for the police to deliver a Miranda Warning...

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?"

...when they are making an arrest or detaining a citizen for a custodial interrogation, the citizen proactively declares his or her Constitutional protections at the start of any dialogue or conversation.

Korwin uncannily foresaw the Salinas v. Texas decision rendered this past week by the United States Supreme Court by a 5-4 majority.

The Underlying Facts...

In in 1992, petitioner Genovevo Salinas, without being placed in custody or receiving Miranda warnings, voluntarily answered some of a police officer's questions about a double homicide, but fell silent when asked whether ballistics testing would match his shotgun to shell casings found at the scene of the crime.

At Salinas' murder trial in Texas state court, and over his objection, the prosecution's point that Salinas clammed up when questioned about what would have been a damning piece of evidence against him, was in itself evidence of his guilt.

It worked: a conviction ensued, followed by a series of appeals right up to SCOTUS which upheld the original con­viction at trial.

What it means...

Even if the police do not give you the standard Miranda warning, you no longer have the right to remain silent unless you tell the police that you are invoking your Fifth Amend­ment rights because, from this point forward, one's silence can be used against them at trail.

Unless a new strategy is devised for dealing with law en­forcement authorities.

Fortunately, Korwin's Adnarim Statement gives us a head start, and those in my Lodge 12012 closed E-mail group are each working on draft language.

A preliminary version from Brother Milquetoast reads:

"I invoke my right to remain silent. I do not want to make any statements or answer any questions. I do not consent to any searches. Me want lawyer."

My own efforts so far have yet to surpass that... but then I'm not a trained attorney.

I sense that this will be an evolutionary process.

O yeah... "Adnarim?" That's Miranda3 spelled backward.

  1. Arizona-based Bloomfield Press is the nation's largest publisher and distributor of firearms-law books.
  2. Comprised of four attorneys, two writers and a baritone from The Met.
  3. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)


1. Champ19 said...

I read with interest your comments on speaking to a law enforcement officer and offer this, "Never talk to any police officer under any circumstances," a most entertaining and informative lecture on this subject. It should remove any doubt about one's conduct in a law enforcement contact.


2. W.R. Moore said...

I do believe there was a previous case where it was decided that remaining silent without actually verbally invoking the right wasn't sufficient.

In that case, a detective kept nattering at a silent suspect untill the suspect broke down in tears and confessed.

Basically, you're correct, you must actually invoke the right and request a lawyer. After which, shut up.

You don't happen to have a cite for that case, do you? It would be interesting to see how SCOTUS got to this latest decision.

3. Jeanne Speir said...

Br'er Milquetoast is wise and funny. And this decision was from the current Supremes? Holy Cow. Is hell freezing over?

  1. He is at that!
  2. Yes... it's less than two weeks old.
  3. Not to go all Lewis Carroll on you, but we shall see what we shall see.

4. Paramarine said...

The ruling on the legal issue in the Salinas case surprised me; I think the Court got it wrong.

To be sure, Im not a lawyer, and the following should not be construed as legal advice, but I think now my approach would be to first ask if I was being detained. If the answer is "no," then I would leave. If the answer is "yes," or if I were prevented from leaving, then I would know that I am in custody.

The Supreme Court held in Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387 (1977), that the right to counsel entitles a citizen to attorney representation at the time that judicial proceedings have been initiated, including at the point of initial interrogation.

My next action would be to explicitly invoke my right to remain silent and then explicitly request an attorney (my feeling is that the second part is just as important as the first). In Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981), the court held that during custodial interrogation, if the suspect invokes his right to counsel at any time, the police must immediately cease questioning him until an attorney is present. The purpose of that rule is to prevent officers from badgering a suspect into waiving his previously asserted Miranda rights, and its applicability requires courts to determine whether the accused actually invoked his right to counsel.

I think its just as important as all the rest to not be a jerk about it (there are a lot of people in the world that make their own lives unnecessarily difficult just by being unable to grasp that).

Ah, Para, you are wise beyond your years!

5. W.R. Moore said...

Dean, the decision I referred to is recent, but I don't remembe the citation. IIRC, the thought was that since the right to remain silent was not expressly invoked, it didn't exist.

Likewise, there was no demand for a lawyer, at which time the person (at least theoretically) can't be spoken to.

You may be referencing the case, Salinas v. Texas, under discussion.

6. W.R. Moore said...

Don't think so. The Salinas slip decision makes it quite clear the Supremes decided some time ago that the right to remain silent must be invoked rather than implied by a refusal to respond.

When I noted "recent," I meant in the last few years. Check the citations in Salinas.

Point taken.

7. Jeanne Speir said...

"Ah may have the Right to remain silent, Officer, but Ah don't have the Ability."

Looking forward to Ron White, aka "Tater," this weekend. smiley

Well... that's close enough.

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