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  1. #1
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    Should criminals go free when the police screw-up?

    From the New York Times:

    The United States is the only country to take the position that some police misconduct must automatically result in the suppression of physical evidence. The rule applies whether the misconduct is slight or serious, and without regard to the gravity of the crime or the power of the evidence.

    In every other country, itís up to the trial judge to decide whether police misconduct has risen to the level of requiring the exclusion of evidence.

    Link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/19/us...15d&ei=5087%0A


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  2. #2
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    Re: Should criminals go free when the police screw-up?

    Police are human and make mistakes. Plus most rules have tons of gray area. A simple mistake made in error should not lead to a criminal being set free.
    An intentional violation of a persons rights that the Officer KNOWS is incorrect should be considered towards releasing the suspect, but should not be the only factor considered.



  3. #3
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    Re: Should criminals go free when the police screw-up?

    My opinion on this may shock some of you, but exclusion of evidence is really the only stick that the judicial system has to "punish" law enforcement officers when they screw up.

    Either way, this is a hard topic to handle.

    Back in the really old days, when law enforcement screwed up, the individuals who screwed up were convicted of the crime that the perpetrator is alleged of and would be punished in lieu of the criminal.

    In other words, if an officer had a case dismissed because of procedural screwups, they could find themselves sentenced to serve the criminal's sentence.

    I, myself, am glad that is no longer true.

    So, if not evidence exclusion, how do you propose law enforcement be sanctioned for screwing up?


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    Re: Should criminals go free when the police screw-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    My opinion on this may shock some of you, but exclusion of evidence is really the only stick that the judicial system has to "punish" law enforcement officers when they screw up.

    Either way, this is a hard topic to handle.

    Back in the really old days, when law enforcement screwed up, the individuals who screwed up were convicted of the crime that the perpetrator is alleged of and would be punished in lieu of the criminal.

    In other words, if an officer had a case dismissed because of procedural screwups, they could find themselves sentenced to serve the criminal's sentence.

    I, myself, am glad that is no longer true.

    So, if not evidence exclusion, how do you propose law enforcement be sanctioned for screwing up?
    Training. And no, criminals should not go free because of a police-screw up with procedures, etc.



  5. #5
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    Re: Should criminals go free when the police screw-up?

    I feel like they should not go free, but I do feel evidence should be suppressed. The problem is the gray areas that were previously pointed out. If not for automatic exclusion, police are human and may have the temptation to ignore proper conduct in order to get the conviction. Allowing evidence obtained improperly is a step toward ignoring the rights granted by the Fourth Amendment. To me the Fourth is at the very heart of keeping the government out of private citizens lives and is the very essence of what I feel is meant by our American concept of freedom and to encroach upon it at all scares me.

    After all, from my understanding the only evidence that is suppressed is the evidence obtained illegally. A conviction can still occur if the other evidence is enough. If the government is willing to break the law to get evidence to convict a citizen, I don't wanna live under that government.



  6. #6
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    Re: Should criminals go free when the police screw-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    My opinion on this may shock some of you, but exclusion of evidence is really the only stick that the judicial system has to "punish" law enforcement officers when they screw up.

    Either way, this is a hard topic to handle.

    Back in the really old days, when law enforcement screwed up, the individuals who screwed up were convicted of the crime that the perpetrator is alleged of and would be punished in lieu of the criminal.

    In other words, if an officer had a case dismissed because of procedural screwups, they could find themselves sentenced to serve the criminal's sentence.

    I, myself, am glad that is no longer true.

    So, if not evidence exclusion, how do you propose law enforcement be sanctioned for screwing up?
    In any other occupation, how are employees sanctioned for screwing up? I dont agree that an officer should be charged with a crime for making a mistake, but like in any job, if you make a mistake that has a bad result (criminal going free) there is going to be some sort of demotion that goes along with it. The punishment should fit the crime...or mistake.



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