I’m trying to imagine how this scenario would play out - suppose you have someone who walks into a bank, holds it up, shoots a teller in the shoulder (a non-fatal wound) and escapes with the money. He gets away for a time, hides the gun and money where only he can find it, but is subsequently apprehended (let’s say through witness descriptions, grainy surveillance video in the bank, etc). There’s no “slam dunk” evidence left inside the bank to implicate him (fingerprints, a dropped drivers license, etc).
From the moment the cops pick him up, he never mutters a word. Not a single one. He knows he’s guilty, but there may be juuuust enough reasonable doubt to keep him from being convicted down the line, so he stays 100% silent.
He’s cooperative every step of the way - doesn’t resist the police officers, nothing. Basically, he’s not a pain in the ass in any way, but he never, ever opens his mouth. Ever. Almost like he has no voice box to even speak with. They ask him question after question, but he just gives a blank stare.
Perhaps he’s homeless - he has no job, no car, no real family to speak of. So he doesn’t give a damn what eventually happens to him, he just wants to roll the dice and head down this path and see where it leads.
Maybe I’ve watched too much Dateline over the years to know that the first chink in a defendant’s armor always seems to be inconsistencies in his story, that the cops can pick up on and use to their advantage.
You don’t have that here, because the defendant has no story. He never, ever speaks. To take it to a real extreme, he never even speaks a word to his court-appointed lawyer - he just stares straight ahead the whole time as if he’s “dead behind the eyes”.
He continues this approach all the way up to and through a trial. Presumably he wouldn’t get called to the stand, but if he does, he ain’t talking. Not one single syllable. You can’t ventriloquist a guy’s lips and voice box to make him speak words that he’s unwilling to say.
I can’t imagine it’s a “foolproof plan” for getting out of any crime or misdemeanor, but it sure seems to give him a better chance than running his mouth, trying to make up some bullshit story, or thinking he can outsmart seasoned investigators.
I don’t know that I would have the self-control to “stick to my guns” and never utter a single word from beginning to end, but the scenario just made me curious.
The worst-case is obviously that the jury says that the defendant is essentially surrendering to the charges against him, so they throw the book at him.
But is there a best-case scenario that that plan could ever work out to his advantage in the real world? There would be no story to use against him (since he hasn’t had his voice heard to any cops or detectives at any point), and there would be no physical evidence against him.
The only thing they’d have him on would be that he was the weirdest (perhaps creepiest) damned defendant that that courtroom had ever seen.