L.T.H. was arrested for dangerous driving causing bodily harm. When arresting him, the police gave L.T.H. a standard young offender statement form, which enumerated his rights in the situation (right to
counsel, right to consult a parent or adult in private, right to have a lawyer and adult present during his statement) and asked him, after reading him these rights, if he understood. L.T.H. interrupted the
reading to state that he was not going to answer the questions, at which point it was explained that the questions were simple “do you understand” queries. At the end, L.T.H. stated he understood his rights, then waived them and provided a statement showing guilt without counsel.
L.T.H.’s mother, in a voir dire held to determine the admissibility of the statement, testified that L.T.H. had a learning disorder and that in previous run-ins with the police, he needed her to explain questions to him. The trial judge decided that the statement was inadmissible, as it conflicted with the statutory requirements set out in ss. 146(2)(b) and (146)(4) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act…
So the youth was bright enough to pass a license exam, but not bright enough to stop committing crimes, or understand something as simple as his rights? Rights that have obviously been explained to him in the past since this wasn’t his first arrest?
If his learning disability prevents him from understanding and exercising his rights, it should also prevent him from having a license in the first place.
Heh. That’d be an interesting add for various government applications. Demonstrate an understanding of basic legal rights. It would certainly ensure a lot more people knew them, and it would help eliminate a great many of these challenges.