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Attorney General's Office admits refusal bill is their own initiative

11/30/11.  Per the New Jersey Law Journal (coming out next week) we will be informed that the refusal bill I mentioned last week (which would remove the requirement that police inform defendants they do not have a right to refuse)  got pushed up in committee … before the State Bar even got a chance to review it… and that in the Attorney General’s words, the bill was its own ”initiative” to defeat defendants who do ” not speak English”.  I leave it to you to decide whether that sounds kosher, but if passed the bill would seem to rob all defendants of the due process right (or at least a fundamental fairness right) to know that refusal by silence or assertion of right to a lawyer is not encompassed within Miranda.  I wonder if this bill’s reasoning isn't like throwing the baby out with the bath water?

Jeff Gold

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