Today began much like other days. I rolled out of bed at 9:00 AM and reviewed the court cases assigned for last night. In the evenings, I do the assigned reading. The material is often quite dense, so reviewing the online brief in the morning is super helpful.
During the first part of class, we discussed the assigned readings from the night before. These cases focused on the rights of accused people. The first, and possibly the most famous, case that we talked about was Miranda V. Arizona. In this case, the court established that arrested people must be read their Miranda Rights before they are formally interrogated. The Miranda Rights are as follows:
You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do you understand? Anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand? You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. Do you understand? If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. Do you understand? If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney. Do you understand? Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
Requiring officers to recite Miranda Rights upon the arrest of someone drastically altered the American criminal justice system.
In the afternoon, we played constitutional jeopardy. It would be an understatement to say that the game was intense. Being in a class full of future lawyers creates a very competitive environment. Personally, I find this competition both intriguing and enjoyable. I love being part of such a passionate group of people.
After class, the cohort met up to go on a boat cruise around the island of Manhattan. We took the subway to meet up with Mrs. L in Times Square. From there, we took a bus to the waterfront. We bought our tickets and, after a quick dinner, we boarded the boat.
Despite less than perfect weather conditions, the cruise was stunning. Every side of the boat offered a unique view of the landscape. The boat initially headed downtown, past the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. We passed the new World Trade Center and the financial district. After reaching the tip of the Island, we headed out to view the Statue of Liberty. It was actually a lot smaller than I expected, but still very impressive. We then wrapped around the Island and went under the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we headed back. The cruise was a spectacular ending to the day!