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Don’t be like Jon Snow, if you are faced with a murder charge, it is important to remember that remaining silent is your best option. Confessing to the murder will not help your case, and in fact may make it worse. You need an experienced criminal lawyer who can protect your rights and freedoms and help defend your case.  Jon Snow made a strategic error in confessing to the murder of his aunt, Daenerys. By confessing to the murder, he was immediately detained and lost his chance to claim the Iron Throne.

It’s obvious that he didn’t talk to a Criminal Lawyer before confessing to the murder. If he had, it would have been explained to him that it’s the Prosecution’s burden to prove that he committed the murder. The Prosecution always has the onus to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict someone for an offence, particularly for something as serious as murder charges.

By failing to use your Charter protected right to remain silent and confessing you are helping the Crown prove portions of their case. Perhaps parts of their case they never would have been able to prove. Or you are providing clues to the police on how to investigate the case against you.

With the murder of Daenerys, the Crown needs to prove Jon Snow’s presence and intent to murder her.

In the circumstances, it would have been impossible to prove this. There were no witnesses in the room. There was no body for a post-mortem report to prove the cause of death. Also, there was no CSI Forensic Team in Westeros at the time. They would have had a very difficult time without surveillance video to place Jon Snow at the scene of the crime.


A responsible Criminal Lawyer would have given him the legal advice that everyone has the right to remain silent, to respectfully refuse to answer any questions from a police officer and never talk with anybody about the allegations until he had spoken with his lawyer. This a right that is protected by Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As the subject, or witness, of a police investigation you never need to give a statement to a police officer. You do have the right to remain silent. Be respectful when asserting this right. As well, be careful not to fall for any police tricks designed to get you to admit to parts of the case.

Police Investigators are savvy enough to know that most people won’t admit to committing a crime, but they might admit to being in the area or with other people associated with the crime. When being questioned respectfully refuse to answer any questions until you speak with a lawyer.

Never talk to anybody about the crime. Nor the allegations, or the role you may have played in the commission of the offence. Anybody you talk to can be used as a witness against you. That means your partner, your siblings or the random nice guy sitting in the jail cell next to you could one day be called as a witness against you.


Finally, when questioned by police never ever lie. The little innocent lies that can be proven in court to be untrue cause you to lose credibility and hurt your chances of success. Juries don’t like liars.

People often try and distance themselves from a crime or crime scene and lie as to their whereabouts. Proving that you lied about your location at the time of the crime can be just as bad or worse than actually being at the scene of the crime. Just don’t lie and just remain silent.

If Jon Snow had simply observed his right to remain silent there would have been no evidence that he actually committed the murder. Sure, there would have been some blood, the fact that Daenerys was missing. But it would have been difficult for a Crown Attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jon Snow intentionally murdered her. If Jon had opted to consult a criminal lawyer he would have received sound legal advice not to talk and perhaps things might have turned out differently for him. And who knows, maybe he could have been the King of Westeros.


William Jaksa is an experienced criminal lawyer in Toronto and has been practicing for over 15 years. He understands the pressure that client’s face when being arrested by police and questioned about a crime. It’s difficult but important to remain silent and don’t talk to police. Politely refuse to answer any questions until you have spoken to a lawyer even if its Manon Bradshaw.

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