Monday, May 22, 2006

Perp Walk Tips

Some prosecutors make a point of having white-collar defendants arrested very publicly, often notifying the press before hand. William R. Mitchelson Jr. & Mark T. Calloway, in How to Avoid Letting a 'Perp Walk' Turn Into a Parade, Nat'l L.J., March 21, 2006, describe the practice and its rationale and then offer tips for defense counsel.

Why the "perp walk"? Prosecutors hope to:

  • send a message that no one is above the law;
  • deter others;
  • inform the public about law enforcement efforts;
  • encourage witnesses to come forward;
  • put pressure on the defendant.
What can defense counsel do when the client under investigation appears likely to be arrested? The authors suggest:
  • Know the local practice.
  • Negotiate with prosecutor for voluntary surrender rather than arrest.
  • Work with U.S. Marshals service to arrange a surrender as soon as the warrant is issued.
  • Prepare the client.
Filed in: , , ,

Image: Joseph Basile, hiding his face with his coat, under arrest in connection with the seizure of $25 million worth of narcotics, Chief of Detectives William T. Whalen standing near him with some of the confiscated drugs. 02/1949. National Archives,

No comments: