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Wrongful convictions: U.S. police withhold evidence in many cases, study shows

39 Comments
By ROBERTO SCHMIDT

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I worked in Malcolm X's "alma mater" and met a fair number of wrongfully imprisoned inmates of color. No surprise to read about the rampant corruption in America's two tier system of "justice". Slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and today, mass incarceration. All you have to do is join the dots. That's why BLM.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

America, beacon of justice and democracy for the world. Yeah, sure!!!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

In fairness to the police, the article clearly indicates that this is mostly the result of prosecutorial, rather than police, misconduct.

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In fairness to the police and prosecutors, since half of the cops and prosecutors are liars and scum, that mean the other half are not.

But of this I am certain: the situation can only improve when the good cops stop protecting the crap cops. And DA's stop protecting crap prosecutors.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

In fairness to the police and prosecutors, since half of the cops and prosecutors are liars and scum, that mean the other half are not.

But of this I am certain: the situation can only improve when the good cops stop protecting the crap cops. And DA's stop protecting crap prosecutors.

Excellent point.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agreed Rainy.

Prosecutors are generally all serpents. Anything for a "win" justice be damned.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Prosecutors are generally all serpents. Anything for a "win" justice be damned.

Oh, Not just the prosecutors, you also have a lot of slimy personal lawyers that will do anything and everything by any means to get their client off and that happens too much and too often.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

In the U.K all evidence has to be disclosed to the defense team. Is it not the same in the U.S.A? There should be harsh penalties for non disclosure, that would stop bent police and prosecutors as they faced jail time themselves.

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Oh, Not just the prosecutors, you also have a lot of slimy personal lawyers that will do anything and everything by any means to get their client off and that happens too much and too often.

Those “slimy personal lawyers” get their clients off within the framework of the laws and constitution. Weird that anyone would denigrate those that ensure the law is applied and the constitution respected.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In the U.K all evidence has to be disclosed to the defense team. Is it not the same in the U.S.A?

It is exactly the same in the US.

There should be harsh penalties for non disclosure, that would stop bent police and prosecutors as they faced jail time themselves.

There are sanctions, but not criminal penalties for withholding evidence. The most common remedy is a mistrial.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the U.K all evidence has to be disclosed to the defense team. Is it not the same in the U.S.A? 

I think the laws are similar in both countries. But there are various reports in the UK too of evidence being withheld.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5572445/Police-trained-hide-evidence-dont-want-defence-see.html

(Daily Mail link, but it refers to an article from The Times. Unfortunately, The Times' page is not free to view.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the U.K all evidence has to be disclosed to the defense team. Is it not the same in the U.S.A? There should be harsh penalties for non disclosure, that would stop bent police and prosecutors as they faced jail time themselves.

The same rule exists in the US.

Interestingly it does not in Japan. Prosecutors here only have to disclose evidence that they intend to use at trial. Since they obviously have no use for exculpatory evidence at trial, they sometimes don't disclose it to the defence. The defence can file a motion with the judge demanding that the prosecution turn over the evidence, but they have to actually be aware of the fact that it exists to do so. A lot of Japan's wrongful convictions that get overturned usually involve exculpatory evidence that the prosecution didn't turn over.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Those “slimy personal lawyers” get their clients off within the framework of the laws and constitution.

U-huh...please say that to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein.

Weird that anyone would denigrate those that ensure the law is applied and the constitution respected.

Unless it’s Tara Reid

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Great Trump of America First is working well even in this Covid-19 cases 1rst ranking, incredible! People revolting of hate, discrimination, bullying, harassment and he is still there, great. (?)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

JT- you sure know how to get the clicks.

Lets post a single study without any counter arguments that buries something like this way down in the story

African Americans were slightly more likely than whites to be victims of misconduct leading to false convictions.

We get it. You think the United States is the Third Reich. But this is really grabbing at straws

Good god, I can't wait until November 4th when these stories suddenly disappear..

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

U-huh...please say that to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein.

You seem to be advocating a system in which the accused don’t enjoy the right to counsel. I’m not sure how you square that with your professed love of law and order.

Unless it’s Tara Reid

What are you talking about?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Perhaps all of those involved in hiding evidence where the conviction is overturned should serve the same amount of time as the innocent party. That should incentivise honesty.

Why does it not surprise me that there is a different setup in Japan. A trial should be upon all the evidence not just what looks good for a conviction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lets post a single study without any counter arguments that buries something like this way down in the story

What exactly is the counter argument that you'd like to see? Wrongful convictions are good? The innocent should be behind bars? What?

And what is the significance of that line being "buried" in the article?

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We get it. You think the United States is the Third Reich. But this is really grabbing at straws 

No.

Good god, I can't wait until November 4th when these stories suddenly disappear..

Nobody is forcing you to use JT.

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You seem to be advocating a system in which the accused don’t enjoy the right to counsel.

No, never.

I’m not sure how you square that with your professed love of law and order.

All I am saying is that both sites whether you are a defense attorney or you are a prosecutor both of them are lawyers and such, you do have some shady characters and unethical ones representing either the client or the state.

>

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No, never.

Epstein got the deal he got because he had a good lawyer, which he was constitutionally entitled to.

All I am saying is that both sites whether you are a defense attorney or you are a prosecutor both of them are lawyers and such, you do have some shady characters and unethical ones representing either the client or the state.

Okay. There are shady people in every industry, so I fail to see any point in this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Epstein got the deal he got because he had a good lawyer, which he was constitutionally entitled to.

Yes, As he should and duly noted, but even though they were constitutionally provided, that doesn’t mean that the person they are representing is ethical and the same goes for the prosecutors, both sides have the ability to say no to represent a client.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yes, As he should and duly noted, but even though they were constitutionally provided, that doesn’t mean that the person they are representing is ethical and the same goes for the prosecutors, both sides have the ability to say no to represent a client.

Prosecutors are assigned cases and their clients are always the state.

Representing a client does not imply or mean that you agree with what the client did. It means the lawyer wants to ensure justice is carried out correctly, which is why defendants in criminal trials are constitutionally guaranteed counsel.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Prosecutors are assigned cases and their clients are always the state.

It does it mean the people that they’re representing our ethical nor does it mean these lawyers are ethical. They do have the right to turn down a case.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It does it mean the people that they’re representing our ethical nor does it mean these lawyers are ethical. They do have the right to turn down a case.

Nobody is arguing about ethical clients or counsel.

A prosecutor can recuse themselves or resign, but those are the only two ways to turn down a case. Again, the prosecutors “client” is the state.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A prosecutor can recuse themselves or resign,

well, you just make my point for me. But when it comes to ethics, neither side as the upper hand.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

and Donald Trump is personally responsible for every single one of these.

Around 2,500 people have been exonerated of serious crimes after being falsely convicted over the past 30 years in the United States.

And Joe Biden is responsible for none of these, as during his 8 years as VP, this never happened.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

You could really go on all day with this "who is unethical" debate but its kind of pointless. You have an adversarial system of justice in which both the prosecutors and defence are duty bound to do what it takes to prove their case, bound only by the ethical guidelines that the Bar Association imposes on lawyers and the rules of criminal procedure. So "ethics" in this context means "following the rules", which isn't the same as "doing what most people would consider morally correct". Prosecutors aggressively go after defendants, some of whom are actually innocent, while defence attorneys rigorously defend their clients, many of whom really do belong in prison.

If you have a problem with the ethics of that, its more a problem with the system itself than any individual operating in it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

they wont disappear, Will be a couple hours of shock that Trump won again and then the media will start running impeachment stories again. Just like in 2016, the first impeachment story was like 21 hours after he was elected.

To be followed by Antifa/BLM riots, then more riots after the police are found innocent about George Floyd, followed by more riots when the police are found innocent about Jacob Blake. then some riots.

Good god, I can't wait until November 4th when these stories suddenly disappear..

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

well, you just make my point for me.

Recusal can only happen for a valid reason. Resignation means being unemployed. Prosecutors are poorly paid, so not all have the options you seem to think they do.

Lawyers are people who have chosen to study law and have passed a bar exam. They learned the exact parameters of the law and how to research so fact patterns are most similar. Without lawyers, the people would be against the state on their own.

With lawyers, the state is represented by counsel and kept in check by opposing counsel. Advanced societies are impossible without a justice system and lawyers.

But when it comes to ethics, neither side as the upper hand.

Nobody claimed they did.

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and Donald Trump is personally responsible for every single one of these.

Trump is not a lawyer and wasn’t involved in all of all of these. He has stepped up and pardoned people who needed to be pardoned because they were innocent. I commend him for that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Recusal can only happen for a valid reason. Resignation means being unemployed. Prosecutors are poorly paid, so not all have the options you seem to think they do.

Lawyers are people who have chosen to study law and have passed a bar exam. They learned the exact parameters of the law and how to research so fact patterns are most similar. Without lawyers, the people would be against the state on their own.

I understand all that, but it has nothing to do with ethics and it has nothing to do with defense lawyers or prosecutors and some of them having ethical issues that goes for both sides

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I understand all that, but it has nothing to do with ethics and it has nothing to do with defense lawyers or prosecutors and some of them having ethical issues that goes for both sides

Yes, we agree.

Just like the vast majority of police officers are honest and good people, so are the vast majority of lawyers. Just like police officers have a few bad apples, so do lawyers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just like the vast majority of police officers are honest and good people, so are the vast majority of lawyers.

I agree.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

and Donald Trump is personally responsible for every single one of these.

Around 2,500 people have been exonerated of serious crimes after being falsely convicted over the past 30 years in the United States.

And Joe Biden is responsible for none of these, as during his 8 years as VP, this never happened.

Said absolutely NOBODY except you.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Stop stirring the pot

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It’s pitiful

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good god, I can't wait until November 4th when these stories suddenly disappear..

@PSmith: Nobody is forcing you to use JT.

PSmith, Its not just JT - and hes not saying it is.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

oh ok, so this is just an issue still looking for an owner to blame it on. thats rare these days.

Seemed curious to me that a thirty year study that shows policing in a negative light would come out less than 50 days before an election where one candidate is pro-police and the other isnt.

Seeing as Biden wrote the 1994 crime bill, lets say he owns this for now.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

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