911 Limited-Immunity Law ~ 911 Callers Deserve “Miranda Rights”

  • Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination
  • Right to have a lawyer present during questioning
  • Right to remain silent because — “Everything you say will be used against you.”
911 Limited-Immunity Law
911 Limited-Immunity Law

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Half the convictions in self-defense cases come from the 911 recordings. — Mitch Vilos, author, Self Defense Laws of All 50 States.

I propose the following law to protect 911 callers, involved in legitimate self-defense cases and give them some limited immunity from statements they make during these high-stress situations.

“The 911 Limited-Immunity Law” – Legislative Statement of Intent

Whereas the state legislature has enacted law defining certain circumstances in which a person may lawfully threaten to use or actually use physical or deadly physical force;

Whereas the state legislature recognizes a value for justifiable instances of threatened use or actual use of physical or deadly physical force to be promptly reported to the appropriate authorities to assist in the prompt dispatching of emergency medical and law-enforcement personnel;

Whereas the state legislature recognizes that individuals who threaten or actually use physical or deadly physical force have a deeply rooted constitutional right to remain silent, to have an attorney present prior to and during any questioning, or during the course of a potentially criminal investigation, and a sacrosanct Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination;

Whereas the state legislature desires to strike a balance between the potentially competing needs for prompt reporting of such incidents and an individual’s constitutional right to remain silent, have an attorney present prior to and during questioning, and be protected from self-incrimination, all of which could delay prompt reporting;

Therefore, the state legislature hereby enacts the following statute to provide limited immunity to individuals who are directly or indirectly involved in an incident involving the threatened or actual use of physical or deadly physical force if they promptly make a good-faith effort to report such instances by calling 911 or other appropriate authorities.

The net effect of the proposed law is:

  1. Encourage people to contact 911 for assistance by protecting their 5th Amendment and Miranda rights during the call. People currently lack self-incrimination protections.
  2. Require the state to gain convictions in claimed but flawed self-defense cases by relying on everything except self-incrimination from 911 voice recordings. The state frequently and abusively relies on unsound self-incrimination.

DRAFT TEXT OF STATUTE

“LIMITED IMMUNITY FOR CERTAIN STATEMENTS MADE DURING 911 EMERGENCY CALLS.”

A. Any individual who is directly or indirectly involved in an incident involving the threatened or actual use of justifiable physical or deadly physical force shall be granted limited immunity for all statements made in a good-faith effort to promptly report such incident to appropriate authorities in an effort to obtain emergency medical or law-enforcement assistance.

B. The term “limited immunity” shall mean that no statement(s) made by an individual in such a good-faith effort may be used against that individual in any civil or criminal proceeding.

C. Notwithstanding subsection B, any statement(s) made by an individual in such a good-faith effort may be used in a legal proceeding with the consent of the individual after consultation with competent legal counsel.

D. This grant of limited immunity shall not apply to the prosecution of false reporting, obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence or perjury.

E. The contents of a report made to promptly report an incident involving the threatened or actual use of justifiable physical or deadly physical force, in a good-faith effort to obtain emergency medical or law-enforcement assistance, shall not be released to the public or the news media prior to its use in a trial involving any such incident. Any such prior release shall be subject to prosecution as obstruction of justice.

F. Anyone who violates or attempts to violate the immunity provided in subsection A of this section, or acts in violation of subsection E of this section, shall be subject to prosecution as a class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense, a class 6 felony for a second offense, and a class 5 felony for any additional offenses.

1. The penalties under subsection F apply whether or not additional offenses are committed against the same or different persons, or related to the same or different cases, and regardless of time that may pass between subsequent offenses.

NOTE: On Adding “Teeth” To The Law

A proposed “teeth” clause, paragraph F is included, which many laws need. This helps control employees, authorities, politicians, bureaucrats and other “officials” who frequently and with impunity violate laws and emerge unscathed.

Paragraph F is modeled after the highly successful Posse Comitatus federal law (18 USC §1385). Instead of saying, as so many laws do (paraphrasing §1385 here), “It’s illegal to use the military to enforce civilian law,” which would be toothless against an offender, the statute instead says, again paraphrasing, “Anyone who uses the military to enforce civilian law shall go to prison for a long time and pay a very stiff fine.”

Alan Korwin
Alan Korwin

That difference, and people’s unwillingness to suffer those enumerated consequences, is why America is not a banana republic. The change is made by putting the law in “active voice,” not in “passive voice,” making a person responsible. A “teeth clause” belongs in this new statute to make it effective. It belongs in any statute where requirements are placed on government actors. Failure to include teeth clauses is often proof the politicians have no intention of enforcing the laws they enact.

For Talking Points and background: http://www.gunlaws.com/911-Limited-Immunity.htm

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

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  • 12 thoughts on “911 Limited-Immunity Law ~ 911 Callers Deserve “Miranda Rights”

    1. Mr. Korwin : You’ve left open the probability that there would be no filing of a criminal charge, resulting from your “Teeth Law”. I agree with you, but there needs to be added assurance that the applicable criminal prosecution would result. At present, an ordinary citizen cannot file any criminal case in any criminal court. Further : The judges are protecting the prosecutors, like they protect police officers when police act in violation of criminal law. Your proposal is excellent, but can you address my issue? I’ve been framed three times, all acts of self defense. The police were protected, and the prosecutors have immunity. I can prove everything, but it does me no good.

    2. Who would have “thunk” it. Now we have to worry about getting arrested for making a 911 call. Guess we should all go out and by a cheap throw away phone and save it for 911 emergencies.

    3. i never thought of this, but makes a lot of sense.
      because in a high stress situation no telling how a person will react or speak.

    4. Excellent work as usual, Alan. It would be wonderful to have states pass such laws, but meanwhile, maybe you or others could develop an immediate set of guidelines on what people should and shouldn’t say on a 911 call given current laws and judicial precedents. If you or others have already done this, it would be useful to see the results along with your 911 Limited-Immunity proposal published for pro-liberty lawyer review and comments.

    5. Did this make anyone else remember the Geroge Zimmerman case, where the recording of the 911 conversation was EDITED vby one of the national “news” “services” (NBC?) to put a totally different spin on the conversation and event? Had a law such as this been in place, NBC never could have got hold of the recording to falsify in the first place, and the clowns who twisted realitu would have gone under the judge’s gavel for violating this law. The entire Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin donnybrook would have remained a minor bump in the otherwise flatlined news feed from a small backwater Florida town, and Zimmerman never would have been charged, let alone tried by a corrupt prosecutor with a bone in her nose. No Zimmerman riots, and his life would not have been destroyed as it has been. And the oversized angelic choirboy housebreaker/thug Trayvon Martin would have been quietly buried, as he deserved. Mama never would have been on national TeeVee to stir up racial tension and get her sick fifteen minutes of fame.

      Now if we could put some real TEETH into some perjury laws relating to false statements given during 911 calls, events like the SWATTING last week that killed an innocent uninvolved citizen would become all but extinct.

    6. Absolutely agree 911 callers deserve such protection . We have public defenders now it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some on duty to monitor 911 calls. You notice how liberals cannot help exposing them selves .

    7. Clark, you might want to try reading the article again. I say this because what you wrote sounds like you do not want more adherence to the rights of citizens. Now if you are more liberal, I understand you might have different goals.

    8. So now one needs a lawyer present when you call 911? And who is to say whether or not a suspect made a criminal confession under a ‘high stress situation’ thereby negating said confession? What is next; non-recording of 911 calls? Quit attempting to separate the fly poop from the pepper, Alan.

      1. A little reading comprehension on your part might have resulted in your making no comment at all. How refreshing that would have been.

    9. Hi there Alan.

      I think it’s a brilliant idea and one that shouldn’t have been necessary in a functioning republic, but here we are. Some quick ideas (I’m not a lawyer and never intend to become one): The “Teeth Clause”. I wouldn’t start off with the ascending ladder of misdemeanor to minor felony to slightly bigger felony. I’d go full Big-Ass Felony up front and use that as an area of concessions to get the thing passed during negotiations. I’d also make it even more explicit that there is no statute of limitation-type clock to run out before you’re back to a misdemeanor if a repeat offender, thus providing another area to concede ground later.

      In paragraph A: Specifically cite the 5th Amendment and Miranda such as: “…granted limited immunity pursuant to established 5th Amendment and Miranda protections…” or something to that effect. Can’t leave even one micrometer of wiggle room or interpretive creativity or you’ll find out just why the 9th Circuit needs the enormous enema it does. It costs nothing to add a few words OVER AND OVER to be perfectly specific about the scope and rationale of this statute but it could easily be the sentence fragment that saves the hide of a lawful gun owner if they ever had to rely on it for their defense.

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