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RE: Nonfiction Review: You Have the Right to Remain Innocent by James Duane (2016, Little A)

in #books6 years ago

This sounds like an interesting read. I might have to head over to amazon and read the sample chapters. I should watch the lecture first thought.
These words may come in useful some day. Not that I plan on being questioned by a cop any time soon but you never know what the day is going to hold.

I'm glad you reviewed a non-fiction book. For the last few months I have found non-fiction book more interesting to read. I have even put a hold on my fiction writings for a crack at non-fiction myself.


One of Duane's points about not talking to the police comes from the fact it's impossible for anybody to know whether or not they've actually committed a crime. The US Criminal Code contains tens of thousands of sections and subsections, spread out across tens of thousands of pages, detailing all the various ways in which ordinary, everyday people can break the law without meaning to, without even knowing they've broken a law. The examples he gives are humorous (some of them could probably be found in those "Crazy Laws" books that point out absurdities in the law with regards to tying alligators to fire hydrants or sleeping in bathtubs) until he points out so many of them are written so broadly that they're effectively useless except as giant nets with which to snare ordinary, well-meaning citizens who aren't aware they've done anything wrong.

Consider a Georgia law that renders it illegal to live on a boat for more than 30 days. Yes, you could be legally residing aboard your lawfully-owned boat, anchored at sea and doing no harm, but if the Coast Guard come by to do a check-up and ask how you're doing, then ask how long you've been out on the water, and you tell them you're on week six of your eight-week boat-cation, guess what?

The law even specifically states, "Owners of docks where live-aboards are moored as well as owners and occupants of live-aboards are responsible under this part." In other words, even if you own the dock to which the boat you also own is moored, it's your responsibility to make sure you never spend more than 30 days on that boat while in Georgian waters.

That's not "30 consecutive days", mind you--that's 30 days per calendar year. So as long as you only spend the month of February living on your boat, you'll be just fine. Any more than that, though, and you'll be considered to be behaving "in contrary to public interest".

I love non-fiction, but I don't usually feel compelled to review it here unless it pertains to video games. This, though, I had to make an exception for, because it pertains to literally hundreds of millions of people. :)

It's funny to think of how many people, including judges, lawyers and cops themselves, break the law without knowing about. And that's not counting the very old laws that make no sense or don't apply anymore.

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