'The Good Wife': Good Law? -- Season 6, Episode 22
Last night's episode was the season finale!
Here's what you need to know from last night's episode, entitled "Wanna Partner?"
Episode Recap (Spoiler Alert):
The Illinois Democratic Committee wants Peter to run for president. Well, technically, they want him to be vice president. He claims that he wants Alicia and the kid's approval first. Alicia doesn't want him to run for president, but thinks he's already made up his mind to do so.
The search for Kalinda continues. Lemond Bishop sent Charles Lester to look for Kalinda. Surprise, surprise, Kalinda comes out of hiding. She makes a deal with Lester, threatening to give the State Attorney evidence about him, to get him off her back.
Last episode, Alicia asked Finn to join as partner in her new law firm. In this episode, Finn finally said yes! Their first client is Jacob Rickter.
In this episode's case du jour, Rickter is planning to start a medical marijuana business. Alicia receives a missed call from Rickter. From the voicemail, it sounds like he's been accosted and arrested, but Central Booking has no record of his arrest. As it turns out, he's being held at Homan Square, where police often "unofficially" hold suspects.
When Alicia tries to see Rickter, police give her the run around claiming that he isn't there.
When police finally produce Rickter in court, they claim he already confessed to planning to acquire marijuana plants. Alicia and Finn want the confession thrown out because Rickter was not read his Miranda rights and told he could have access to an attorney. The police and DA harp repeatedly on the fact that they weren't required to read Rickter his Miranda rights because he wasn't under arrest at the time.
However, courts have ruled that Miranda rights apply whenever a suspect is 1) in detention and 2) being interrogated. You are in detention, and technically under arrest, when police somehow limit your ability to leave. Police don't actually have to say "You're under arrest."
In this episode, Rickter was handcuffed and taken to a police facility. He wasn't free to walk away at any time. So, he was under arrest. Finn and Alicia jumped through hoops to get a police officer to say that Rickter was considered to be under arrest. But, all they had to do was argue that he was in police custody, and he wasn't allowed to leave.
Habeas Corpus Petition: When police at Homan Square lie to Alicia's face claiming that Rickter isn't there, Finn tells her to immediately file a habeas corpus petition.
In the United States, police can't throw people into jail without justification. A writ of habeas corpus, which literally means "produce the body," is an order from a court to the police or government official to bring a detainee to court to determine whether or not his arrest, imprisonment, or detention is legal.
In the end, Rickter's confession is thrown out, and he's set free. And, everybody lived happily ever after, at least until next season.
Until next season, I'll leave you with this episode's best quote: "What is it with all these tough-talking women?"
What did you think of this week's episode of "The Good Wife"? Is the show guilty of making any legal mistakes? Check back here for more legal recaps of "The Good Wife," and send us a tweet at @FindLawConsumer with the hashtag #TheGoodWife.
- 'The Good Wife' Recap: Season 6, Episode 22, 'Wanna Partner?' (The Wall Street Journal)
- Caged Chimp Is a Legal Person, Habeas Petition Asserts (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- O.J. Simpson Back in Court: What's a Habeas Hearing? (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- DUI Arrests and Miranda Rights: What You Need to Know (FindLaw's Blotter)
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