Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I found the discussion today on rights of the accused intriguing. Initially we went over the case which set the foundation for the rights of the accused used today. Those rights are included in the Miranda Warning which includes the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. A case we talked about in class that I found interesting was Berghuis v. Thompkins (2010) because of the strange ruling by the Supreme Court. Berghuis was interrogated for two hours and 45 minutes until he finally he talked and self-incriminated himself. When he brought his case to court, his attorney argued that Berghuis had the right to remain silent, and that after two an a half hours the police should have stopped the interrogation. The Supreme Court ruled that while one may have the right to silence, the police have a right to continually ask questions. As for silence, the majority opinion made it clear that in order to exercise the right to remain silent one must announce it.

I find this extremely odd because especially in this case, if he didn't speak for two hours and 45 minutes, you would think it is obvious he's exercising his right to remain silent. I would have thought that if someone didn't speak to me after I asked 5 minutes worth of questions he/she was choosing to remain silent. If the the Supreme Court ruling were to stand, then the Miranda Warning needs to be edited from "You have the right to remain silent..." to "You have the right to remain silent, only if you announce it..." Because the Miranda Warning does not mention that one must announce that he/she wants to use their rights, the Supreme Court ruling, in my opinion, is wrong.

After class was finished, Beilul, Milani, and I rushed off to try and visit the Guggenheim museum -- before it closes. I learned from yesterday and at lunch I used an app called Hopspot to figure out exactly how to get to Guggenheim. We took the subway which conveniently stops at 86th street, which is the route of the 86 bus. We were supposed to take 86 all the way to Guggenheim, but when I asked the bus driver when to get off, he told be Central Park West and head uptown. However, he was wrong. He let us off on the wrong side of Central Park and so we powerwalked our way across the park and to be honest, Beilul and I were worried that we might repeat yesterday's fiasco. I was relieved to see the amazing building...45 minutes before it closed.

It was a pleasant surprise to find that students with a Columbia ID were allowed into the museum for free. After receiving our free ticket, we headed off to the top and worked our way down. Initially I didn't really like the artwork because it consisted of rocks, random pieces of scrap metal, and large canvases with only a few brushstrokes. However as we worked our way down, I began to like the work more and more. The pieces of scrap metal led to an exhibit about fading paint stokes, which in my opinion, looked really cool. We then went into an amazing exhibit which featured the works of french artists such as Manet and Monet. As amazing as the french exhibit was, it was nothing compared to the Hugo Boss Prize exhibit. In the Hugo Boss Prize exhibit, the entire walls of the room were covered in one dollar bills from the ground to the ceiling. The exhibit begs the question: How many dollar bills were used? According to the staff member in the exhibit, only 1,000 dollar bills were used. Just by looking at the room, I would have easily guessed that more than 1,000 dollar bills were used, but that's why I don't guess.

Overall, I was really happy that Beilul, Milani, and I made the trip down to the Guggenheim because I thought it was pretty awesome.

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