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Old 05-03-2009, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
As SCGranny points out in one of her astute (as usual) posts, "Correct in your conclusion, but incorrect in your information-gathering." While it is true that it is especially worrisome when a bad individual possesses the means and authority to purposefully take a person's life, for the sake of keeping this discussion accurate, it should be noted that police officers do not have "the authority to use . . . deadly force in any situation in which they feel threatened." Laws regarding use of force are a bit more complicated than this. Now, it is true that a bad individual may disregard these laws, and that is scary, but, in order to maintain the high quality of this thread to this point, accuracy is a good thing.
What you say is technically true, and more true than it was in the recent past. However, the police know that they can trust just about everybody with clout (except maybe the media and the ACLU) to back them up. All that is usually needed to get a judgment in favor of the police is to show that there was reason to believe, in the heat of the moment, that there was a real threat. In most recent highly-publicized seemingly-outrageous incidents, the police who were found guilty were lightly reprimanded. Or, in the case of Tulia, Texas, not reprimanded at all. http://www.drugpolicy.org/law/police/tulia/index.cfm

In fact, it is only in extremely rare, highly visible cases, that day-to-day police malfeasance even comes to light. If a cop stops you for a tail light, then searches your car and finds nothing, and just says "you can go now", he has had a significant impact on your life already, forcing you to endure such an ordeal. In addition to making you miss an appointment, inconveniencing and worrying other people depending on you, maybe even taking days or years off your life if you have compromised health. As long as they don't beat you to a pulp with a baseball bat while somebody rolls a videocam, you never even become a statistic.

The simple fact that law abiding people have come to fear the police, causes the general public to be exposed to adrenaline rushes every time a cruiser pulls into view, which is harmful to the general health of the nation. Not to mention the decreasing willingness of the public to cooperate with the police. In aggregate, the erosion of public confidence in the police may be doing more overall harm to the nation than would be the case if police were less aggressive and efficient in the work they have set out to do.

Already, almost half of all known homicides remain unsolved, not even counting all the homicides that are never recognized as foul play in the first place,, of which zero are solved. Which leads one to believe that even murder is just barely being addressed by a more intrusive police presence.

Last edited by jtur88; 05-03-2009 at 09:29 PM..

 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:25 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,610,630 times
Reputation: 2983
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDTD View Post
Boy...I'm glad we're boring where I live. I don't know a prosecutor or cop willing to lose their job for a case. Maybe there are some, but I have yet to meet them. Is there any particular areas (without being specific) that this happens more frequently?
I tend to agree with you. Though we ALL know of several widely-publicized miscarriages of justice, I tend to think the vast majority of folks who end up in 'trouble' have a long track record of living around 'trouble'.

The sad fact is, fair or not, we're judged by the company we keep, and the situations we get into. Is it always 100% fair? No. Is it always "by the book"? No. Do some technically innocent people get 'swept up' in the troubles of others? Yes.

But I still find it hard to believe that very many 'solid citizens', going about their mundane daily activities, suddenly find themselves behind bars. I'd LIKE to think MOST people behind bars, even for a short time, somehow put themselves in jeopardy by being in the wrong place, with the wrong people, and by doing this over a long perod of time.

I don't think MANY people end up behind bars just because they were 'minding their own business'....or 'commuting to work'.

Think of how you'd advise a YOUNG person to 'stay out of trouble'....it shouldn't be all THAT hard, should it? If you want to 'stay out of the clutches of the cops', then don't do the things that get their attention...because they DO sometimes 'look for trouble', and they DO make mistakes. Don't give them any reason to look at YOU.....

I think this is a pretty good 'rule of thumb' about 98% of the time. If not, then I stand corrected. Maybe I'm just naive....
 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:48 PM
 
339 posts, read 627,161 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
I tend to agree with you. Though we ALL know of several widely-publicized miscarriages of justice, I tend to think the vast majority of folks who end up in 'trouble' have a long track record of living around 'trouble'.

The sad fact is, fair or not, we're judged by the company we keep, and the situations we get into. Is it always 100% fair? No. Is it always "by the book"? No. Do some technically innocent people get 'swept up' in the troubles of others? Yes.

But I still find it hard to believe that very many 'solid citizens', going about their mundane daily activities, suddenly find themselves behind bars. I'd LIKE to think MOST people behind bars, even for a short time, somehow put themselves in jeopardy by being in the wrong place, with the wrong people, and by doing this over a long perod of time.

I don't think MANY people end up behind bars just because they were 'minding their own business'....or 'commuting to work'.

Think of how you'd advise a YOUNG person to 'stay out of trouble'....it shouldn't be all THAT hard, should it? If you want to 'stay out of the clutches of the cops', then don't do the things that get their attention...because they DO sometimes 'look for trouble', and they DO make mistakes. Don't give them any reason to look at YOU.....

I think this is a pretty good 'rule of thumb' about 98% of the time. If not, then I stand corrected. Maybe I'm just naive....
I think you actually hit the nail on the head although someone will come up with THEIR half of a story (the half that works for them) about how the cops just picked on them for no reason. There are people that will never see the inside of a jail cell. At the most, they will get a speeding ticket. There are people (include some of my own family members) who end up there rather consistently. Although everyone else is all f-ed up to them, it's not their fault, they are being picked on, blah, blah, blah, they consistently end up in...jail. It must just be really, really bad luck.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
The average person spends a couple of hours a day out in public view, where it is the business of the police to notice them. That's about 40,000 hours in one's adult lifetime. What are the chances that, under that much scrutiny, you are never the victim of a mistake? That your behavior never seems odd enough to a redneck, that he is inspired to make an example of you?

Case in point. My wife and I were sitting home one night in Huntsville, Alabama, and decided to get a pizza. I phoned in my order, and went out to pick it up. I got stopped by a cop who said "You've been speeding up and down this street all night long." Just by pure luck, he must have come to the conclusion all by himself that he had made a mistake in identity, because he gave me a verbal warning ("I better not see you again tonight") and let me go. But it didn't have to turn out that way, and sometimes doesn't.

I have found that the best policy is to approach the cop. If I see a cop in a convenience store while paying for gas, I make it a point to ask him for directions. I figure it is something a suspect would never do.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:59 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,494,629 times
Reputation: 3535
I generally trust the police over all especially in my little town but I remember this very well as I lived in the area where this happened. Craig Peyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Old 05-03-2009, 10:16 PM
 
5,757 posts, read 13,320,646 times
Reputation: 4523
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDTD View Post
Boy...I'm glad we're boring where I live. I don't know a prosecutor or cop willing to lose their job for a case. Maybe there are some, but I have yet to meet them. Is there any particular areas (without being specific) that this happens more frequently?
Any areas where a prosecutor would go after a conviction when he knew he had no case? Durham, NC, for one. At least it was true there until the D.A. DID lose his job in the Duke lacrosse case. I don't know whether it's a trend for there to be more D.A.'s going after convictions any way they can get them, or just something that has made the news in some celebrated cases in recent years, but it's a scary situation. Not only do you have prosecutors like the Duke lacrosse guy going after convictions when they know the accused party is innocent (but, in some cases, they hope to find a way to whip up public support, like when the Duke guy tried to make it a racial issue), but then there was the situation where the D.A. in Houston got qite creative in his view of how far the law reached when he considered bringing charges against Andrea Yates's husband, for not somehow knowing, as if he had a PhD in psychology or something, that his wife was not just in an ordinary depressed state, but was so far over the edge that the children were in danger if left in her care.

As I said, I don't know whether these are just a few celebrated cases, or there is a trend toward more of this kind of aggressiveness with prosecution, but it appears that there are people throughout the legal system who can be dangerous to members of the public. A key question, though, is how many of these misfits there really are. Is this just a situation where you accept the reality that there will be a few bad people in any walk of life, or is there more of a widespread institutional problem?

Last edited by ogre; 05-03-2009 at 10:30 PM..
 
Old 05-03-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
I believe in a majority of cases, the prosecutor knows he has no case, or at least a very fragile one. Why would they bother to offer a plea bargain, if they were fairly sure they could convict? In a large majority of cases, the suspect is probably actually guilty of something criminal, but the task of assembling a case is problematic. The process consists of piling up at least a dozen charges of various attempted, conspiracy tos, possession of incriminating materials, eluding officers, etc., which they can plea bargain down to just a couple of those, and they know the suspect would rather cop a plea than spend years running back and forth to court every month for status hearings and trying to wake up his appointed attorney long enough to yawn and look for defense exhibits. In Illinois, the legal definition of a "speedy trial" is 210 days after the defense indicates it is ready to go to trial. A lucky few make bail, most just sit in jail and wait. So they have one real charge, build up to ten, bargain it back down to the original one, and justice is served without any real due process. Even if you're innocent, the prosecution holds all the cards, and deals them off the bottom of the deck.
 
Old 05-04-2009, 12:17 AM
 
Location: somewhere in the woods
16,886 posts, read 12,536,143 times
Reputation: 5210
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaCowboy View Post
ABSOLUTELY! Happens every day.

How about this:

Judge says to an innocent defendent waiting trial: "I aint interested in spending my summer here tied up in a trial, if you don't take a plea and you're found guilty, I'm sentencing your ass the maximum allowable time by the guidelines before me and I'm sure I'll find someway to add more!"

People are so gullible to think our justice system is fair and fact is, 90% of jurors believe the crap. they think just because someone is being brought to trial, they must be guilty. How wrong they are! 12% of people in prison, do not belong there. Over ambitious prosecutors and investigators.

"Sick em, get em, take em down at all costs"

Again, the vast majority are ethical and mean well, but not always.


I love serving on juries, because the fact that I am allowed to not determine the guiilt or innocence of the defendent, but also the constitutionality of the law they are being charged with.

personal drug use without any child present, gun charges, taxes, most anything to do with 10CFR shall never get a guilty verdict out of me unless it is a crime evil unto itself such as rape, murder or the like.
 
Old 05-04-2009, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,752 posts, read 18,389,677 times
Reputation: 8941
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
I have to speak up here. One of my best friends is a police chief, and I love him and would trust him with my wallet, my kids, my life. Some of my best friends are cops; and are the most decent guys I have ever met. Weird senses of humor, to be sure; mischievous and funny, kind to everyone - and pure HELL on real criminals. They truly do see their purpose in life as 'to serve and protect' the innocent and abused. My neighbor is a danged decent cop; his wife is a schoolteacher, and they raised an autistic child with their own children to be the sweetest, funniest, and happiest teenager you'd ever want to meet.

OTOH, I have known and worked with some crooked cops; cops who sold the dope they confiscated, cops who would lie, cheat, and steal - we even had a cop steal our identities and ruin our credit. One carried two AK-47s on the front seat of his private vehicle and went cruising around 'bad' neighborhoods on his nights off, seeing who he could jack up and intimidate. Some are wife and child abusers, some think that the badge gives them the power to sexually assault women or kick in peoples' doors illegally to intimidate them.

Cops are like everyone else - some are in that profession because of what they can do FOR others, while others are in that position because of what they can do TO others. Saints and devils abound in every profession.
Great post. I agree entirely.
 
Old 05-04-2009, 01:46 PM
 
3,566 posts, read 4,489,505 times
Reputation: 1846
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDTD View Post
Sure there's a way around anything to do with confessions. Don't rely on a confession alone. All confessions have to be corroborated. A person isn't going to be convicted (shouldn't be or there's something wrong) on their confession alone. People confess to crimes (on purpose) all the time that they didn't commit. There were a whole bunch of famous serial killers who weren't even in the area the person was killed during the time if ya know what I mean. All the studies on false confession are a bunch of b.s. simply for the fact that they are confusing/likening mistakes that could happen (the alt key study for example) with convincing someone that they robbed a mini-mart (or whatever the crime may be) when they weren't even in the same town at the time. Most are completely stupid studies done by people with several Phd's who have absolutely no common sense. The alt key study scenario could happen (accidentally hit the key while typing...no $hi*...that's the scenario), there is no "punishment" and the people being studied are like "who cares". Really...who gives a cra* if someone accuses you of accidentally hitting a button when you were typing and really actually could have hit it. I'd probably even be like..."Okay dude. I hit it. Can I go back to class now?" Dumb! That being said...much of the issues surrounding any interrogation could be put to rest if they were audio-video taped.

There HAVE been false confessions (obviously). I'm not saying that there hasn't been. It's not the confession though as much as it is the overall investigation and/or several levels of flaws in the system. Essentially, a person can get convicted on a false confession if the place where they confess employs idiots as cops and the system in that area is a seven-layed dip of stupidity. There are numerous examples of what not to do out there, and these didn't follow Reid. Reid in no way says to lead people, etc. Now...If the cop sits there and says, "You drove there in a 72' Camaro, killed him with that 7 inch butcher knife that had a wooden handle in the kitchen near the back door and wrote "Bob sucks" on the wall in blood from the poodle you also killed...Didn't ya!" that would be dumb! There's a whole lot of details that can be used to corroborate that story. There is no way they are going to confess and use all those details if they weren't guilty. If it's fed to them (like some of the examples of what not to do), that's just dumb! That's not Reid though.

Seriously though. How do you suggest you interview/interrogate people? "Did you do it." "No." "Okay then...I guess we're done here. You can leave now."

I'm not interested in how you feel about studies. I don't mean that in a crappy way. What your saying to me is that no matter what I put up your not going to believe it and that your personal experience outweighs mine. Point blank, I don't think so. My personal experience will top yours every time.

The Reid Interrogation method is no longer used in the UK. Why is that?

During the interrogation, the police are allowed to lie and create the mental image of fictive evidence. They may use hypothetical situations and then use that against a person. The Supreme Court says, hey this is ok. This creates a variety of problems.

1. From the get go, police are trained to lie. Frankly, either you have evidence or you do not. Period. They then justify this action to catch someone that they think is lying. Does this not seem just a tad off to you? We do not have any evidence, so we will fabricate it. (Intimidation)Or, if you will just state "blah, blah, blah," then we will let you go home. (False Informing).

2. When the police focus on one individual then they most often do not look at other suspects. That has to change. It has to. When you refuse to allow the other party to deny the allegations (coercion)on a continous basis then the mentality shifts to that one person and no others. This can lead to a wrongful conviction and then it leads to a high profile case. The thing cannot be lets close this case as quickly as possible and exclude all other suspects. It comes back to kick 'em in the butt even if it takes 20 years to do it. You have just wasted money, time and a life.

Something that people need to keep in mind is that there are a good portion of people with very low IQ's and they will confess because obviously they are going to become frustrated very easily. They don't wear signs and there are many mentally ill people that don't wear signs. There are some that obviously do.

But beyond the Reid Interrogation Method, how many hours is a juvenile allowed to remain at a police station before that minor must either be released or transported?

Is it ever ok to threaten somebody in a holding cell or handcuffed promising retaliation?

When is it ok to arrest a juvenile but tell a guardian that the individual is not in the station while they are still being held there?

You have a cop in a school that says something derogatory to a student who, all knowing at 14 or 15, shoots her mouth off and is then arrested for Disorderly Conduct. Is this ok?

Is it ok to extract information from what should be on a police report just to get out of taking someone for a medical clearance for injuries?

It doesn't have to be big stuff, it can be little stuff too.
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