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Miranda Rule Violations

April 26, 1998

Unlike Larry Mazur, who wrote about the "common practice" of "creative report writing" (letter, April 22), I have been a city police officer in the L.A. area for over 20 years and have personally never seen a police officer refuse to honor a suspect's request to invoke his right to silence or an attorney. In fact, I have personally witnessed (and testified to) some suspects who just couldn't keep their mouths shut even when police pointedly avoided asking them about criminal activity, or despite invoking their rights.

Stupidity? Bravado? Human nature? Only the defendant knows why, but I have yet to hear one admit to it in court. No, the most common practice is still "creative denying" on the part of defense attorneys.

ARNOLD WONG, Diamond Bar

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LAPD Chief Bernard Parks (letter, April 17) was in error when he stated that a Miranda violation results in suppression of the statement and the "automatic dismissal of charges against the defendant if, by some remote chance, [a prosecutor] files the case."

A violation of the Miranda decision only results in the suppression of the statement itself. If there is factual basis to charge a defendant with a crime without the inadmissible statement, then a prosecutor files it and the case is decided on the remaining facts. The state only loses the defendant's statement as evidence.

HARVEY GISS, Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County

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