Innocence

Half of All False Convictions in the U.S. Involved Police or Prosecutor Misconduct, Finds New Report

If you’re looking for accountability, we’ve got some bad news for you.

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When innocent people are falsely convicted of crimes and later freed, in more than half of the cases, misconduct by police and prosecutors played a contributing role.

That's the primary theme of a new report, "Government Misconduct and Convicting the Innocent," released today by the National Registry of Exonerations, which has been tracking all known exonerations in the United States for the past 30 years. Every year they release a report documenting trends in exonerations, how often DNA evidence plays a role in determining an innocent person is behind bars, problems with eyewitness testimony, and of course, misconduct by officials.

This new report drills into all of the exonerations they've archived up until February 2019. That's 2,400 cases. These are people who have been convicted of crimes, sentenced, then later cleared based on new evidence showing their innocence.

In 54 percent of these cases, misconduct by officials contributed to a false conviction. The more severe the crime, the more likely misconduct played a role when an innocent person was convicted.

Police and prosecutors, in general, engaged in misconduct at about equal rates, 35 percent for cops, 30 percent for prosecutors at the state level. In drug cases, though, cops were four times more likely to have engaged in misconduct than prosecutors. When it came to federal cases, prosecutors engaged in misconduct at rates more than twice as often as police. In white-collar cases, federal prosecutors engaged in misconduct seven times as much as police.

The most common type of misconduct involved concealing exculpatory evidence, which is evidence that suggests the defendant is not guilty. The National Registry of Exonerations found that evidence was deliberately concealed in 44 percent of the cases that ultimately resulted in exonerations. The 218-page report documents the many ways that police and prosecutors break the rules in order to get convictions, from fabricating evidence and manipulative conduct during interrogations to fraudulent forensics and flat-out lying in court.

But what happens when a person is ultimately exonerated and the truth of police and prosecutorial misconduct is revealed? Are the police officers or prosecutors disciplined for their behavior? Often the answer is no. The report analyzed what happened to cops and prosecutors who engaged in misconduct and found that some sort of discipline was imposed in only 17 percent of these cases. Prosecutors are hardly ever punished for misconduct, even though the report notes that they are equally culpable as cops. In only four percent of cases did they find prosecutors disciplined in any way for misconduct. Just two have been fired, three disbarred, and only two have ever themselves been criminally prosecuted and found guilty of misconduct.

Police officers, on the other hand, were disciplined in some fashion in 19 percent of all exoneration cases involving police misconduct. That's still remarkably low, but police are far more likely than prosecutors to be criminally charged with misconduct in these cases. At least 30 officers have been convicted. That number may seem low, but the report notes that a single police officer may actually be responsible for several false convictions (most notably in Chicago, which has seen mass exonerations over police misconduct).

After examining a couple of specific cases where problems in police and prosecutor culture contributed to the convictions of innocent people, the report gets to the heart of the matter: Are there any specific, substantive policy changes that can reduce behaviors that lead to false convictions? The final quarter of the report is devoted to recommendations: record police interrogations; have forensic crime labs operate independently of police departments to reduce the pressure to fudge results; create special units in prosecutors' offices to revisit old cases and look for errors; implement open-file discovery and better information-sharing practices with public defenders; and, obviously, institute actual consequences for officers and prosecutors who engage in misconduct that leads to the innocent being convicted.

"Official misconduct damages truth-seeking by our criminal justice system and undermines public confidence. It steals years—sometimes decades—from the lives of innocent people," wrote Samuel Gross, University of Michigan law professor emeritus, lead author of the report and editor of the National Registry of Exonerations. "The great majority of wrongful convictions are never discovered, so the scope of the problem is much greater than these numbers show."

On Monday, after 37 years in prison, Robert DuBoise was formally exonerated in Florida for a rape and murder from 1983 that DNA evidence now proves he did not commit. He was convicted partly due to testimony from unreliable jailhouse informants and controversial, discredited bite mark analysis. His case is a perfect example of how much our justice system is plagued by bad behavior.

The National Registry of Exonerations is a joint project by the Newkirk Center for Science and Society at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School, and the Michigan State University College of Law. The full report can be read here.

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  1. But the Russia collusion story was totes legit!

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  2. Reason is credulous on every false story about Trump, and incredulous on every story involving the cops.

    1. See, this story is at least plausible, though. It makes sense that misconduct would be one of the leading causes for false convictions.

      1. I’m surprised it’s only 50%.
        Would think FALSE convictions would almost always be due to misconduct…

        1. The vast majority of convictions are the result of plea bargains.

          It’s not that hard to imagine an innocent defendant faced with extreme charges pleading out to lesser charges because they think the system is rigged against them even in the absence of any real misconduct.

          Prosecutors don’t want to take most cases to trial, neither do the public defenders.

          When both the prosecutor and your defense attorney are pushing you to plead out…

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        2. The other 50% is due to incompetence, uncaringness, or simple overwork, by the court appointed defense.

      2. There’s another thing. Misconduct would obviously play a higher part in cases of PROVEN false convictions. If there was simple mistaken identity or other situation, there may be no misconduct. However, there’s no way to prove that it was a false conviction either.

    2. It’s almost like they are trying to consistently challenge those in power. I’d like to see more balanced coverage of Trump here and less coverage of the latest silly Twitter outrage, but I think in general it is the right way to do things. Always question authority. That’s kind of a big part of what libertarianism is about.

      1. Totes dude!
        That’s why they so consistently side with the progressives, who have no power in education or mass media or entrenched bureaucracy or Big Tech or NGOs…

        1. I’m not so sure it’s fair to say they consistently side with progressives, outside of the narrow agreements on certain things (where they do give too much credence to progressives’ stated objectives).

          1. Denial doesn’t really help you, but that’s your cross to bear.

            On a related note
            http://twitter.com/Fxhedgers/status/1306029351452827649?s=19
            CHINESE DEFECTOR VIROLOGIST DR LI MENG YAN’S TWITTER ACCOUNT SHUTDOWN

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  3. Very interesting video from Vice. I never heard of this before:
    How Property Law Is Used to Appropriate Black Land

    1. It is interesting insofar as it is interesting to watch idiots learn how property law works. Yeah, if you leave your 280 acres of land to your seven children equally, they each don’t get 40 acres. They each get a 1/7th interest in 280 acres. And any one of them can demand the land be sold and the proceeds divided. That is how property law works and has worked since the middle ages. It isn’t some plot to steal land from black people.

      Basically that video is complaining about how black people were given land 160 years ago and that land still isn’t owned by the same families. Well no shit. What families outside of the super wealthy who put their estates in trusts still own land a 160 years after it was purchased?

      The funny thing is that if the government had made land given to free blacks like Indian land and took away their rights to alienation, Vice would today be making a video about how black people were oppressed by being deprived of their rights to sell their land.

      1. It’s Chipper, misunderstanding something simple is what he, our resident autist troll, does.

      2. Let’s completely ignore the fact that freed slaves had no access to attorneys or education to be able to write a will. Let’s ignore the fact that triggering sale of a land when 20% of the owners demand it is completely unjust. Just because property law works a certain way does not make it just. In fact, it is very likely that property law was designed by large property owners to their benefit so they can acquire more land from the lower classes. And the black weren’t given this land. They homesteaded it.

        Why the fuck are so many states now passing laws for uniform partition of heirs property, other than the states in the deep south? Huh?

        This is exactly the type of ignorant response, completely lacking in any sort of empathy, that I was expecting from you, John. You can’t even go one sentence without calling someone an idiot because they say something with which you disagree. No wonder you idolize Trump. He is your emotional reflection.

        1. Let’s completely ignore the fact that freed slaves had no access to attorneys or education to be able to write a will.

          Very first words put of his mouth are credentialist/prog arguments, but claims to be Libertarian.


        2. Let’s ignore the fact that triggering sale of a land when 20% of the owners demand it is completely unjust.

          Wut? Let the other 80% buy their share. Easy. If they won’t, why should the 20% be fucked?

          1. Let the other 80% buy their share.

            So the developer who just bought the 20% and who intends to force the sale of the entire property is just going to give up and sell the 20% back to the family? No way.

            1. Free .arket, juice.
              Unless you’re proposing some antidote to the developer’s “force” that somehow maintains your professes ideals

        3. >>Let’s ignore the fact that triggering sale of a land when 20% of the owners demand it is completely unjust

          you sure you wanna go here?

        4. Let’s ignore the fact that triggering sale of a land when 20% of the owners demand it is completely unjust.

          Why? Why does property law have to majority rule? If the land is sold everyone is getting their fair share. The people who own that 20% own it just like you do. Nothing gives the 80% the right to force them to keep the land. You can’t sell 20% of land. You have to sell it all or nothing. There is nothing unjust about that and I bet you never even thought about it or found it unjust until someone told you it was because RACISM.

          In fact, it is very likely that property law was designed by large property owners to their benefit so they can acquire more land from the lower classes.

          It is not likely at all. It is, however, certain that you are a complete fucking moron who knows nothing about the law, economics, or history. Forced sales are a part of the common law. The reason why they exist is twofold. First, it is unjust to deny a partial owner his right to alienate the land. Second, split ownership is always discouraged in the law because it is uncertain and makes it harder for the land to be used productively. If two people own land and can’t agree on what to do with it, nothing happens. So the law has always favored selling land and vesting ownership in one party where possible.

          Why the fuck are so many states now passing laws for uniform partition of heirs property, other than the states in the deep south? Huh?

          It is called intestate secession you fucking moron. It virtually the same in every state. If you die without a will, your heirs share in your estate equally. Again, that has been the law going back to the English common law. The states only vary in how they divide the property up among grand kids where one of the kids but not all of them have died. How the fuck else would have the state divide property among heirs where there isn’t a will if not equally among them? Do you even fucking thing before you speak?

          I gave you a very detailed and informative response. I explained to you how property law works and how only someone completely ignorant would expect land to stay in the same family for 100 or more years. And rather than thank me for informing you of that, you get angry because basically you like being stupid. In the same way knowledge gives me and many others pleasure, stupidity and ignorance give you pleasure.

          I can forgive you for being taken in by the Vice video. How are you supposed to know anything about property law. But, the fact that you are now angry that I bothered to try and explain to you why it was wrong and refuse to understand how property law actually works, just shows that you are intentionally ignorant. And choosing to be ignorant is something I will never understand nor forgive.

          1. I wasn’t talking about how the property is divided if an owner dies without a will, which is not the issue here. It is what happens when a sale is unjustly triggered. I ask again, since you willfully ignored it, why is there a movement for uniform partition of heirs property, which is VERY RECENT?

            See here.

            For well over 125 years, many Americans have lost their tenancy-in-common property involuntarily in various legal proceedings. For example, courts throughout this country have often resolved partition actions, a legal proceeding in which a tenant in common seeks to exit a tenancy in common, by ordering a forced, partition sale of the property even when these courts could have ordered a remedy that would have preserved the property rights of the tenants in common. Though partition sales have negatively impacted a broad cross section of people in this country, the sales have particularly impacted poor and disadvantaged African-Americans, Hispanics, white Americans, and in some instances, Native Americans. The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), a project that the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law helped convince the Uniform Law Commission to undertake in 2007, seeks to address partition action abuses that have led to significant property loss. Thomas W. Mitchell, the Reporter for the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, explains the UPHPA and the history of its enactment by states over the last five years.

            1. And that is complete fucking nonsense. The ABA is just wrong here. Forcing people to not sell their share in property is a violation of their property rights. Claiming “but the ABA thinks it is the RACIST” doesn’t refute anything I said. It is just more proof what a garbage organization the ABA is.

            2. the sales have particularly impacted poor and disadvantaged African-Americans, Hispanics, white Americans, and in some instances, Native Americans.

              Jesus, just say poor people. Yes, the law disproportionately fucks poor people. Thanks, ABA.

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            3. Those ‘tenants-in-common’ could have bought out the tenant that wanted to sell his stake.

              They either chose not to or were outbid.

        5. I’m going to guess because Northern states are less likely to have property owner who use their land and are thus aware that note every acre is built equal? Just because property is in a continuos lot doesn’t mean that the part with the watering hole and non-rocky soil isn’t worth more.

          My family had to put a lot of discussion in how the land was going to be split once Granny dies, because it doesn’t just happen. No one is going to swoop in and do it for you, and no one really could.

          1. Also, buying someone out of their part of the property is very much a thing. 7 family members want to keep the land and 1 wants to sell? Buy them out of their share. If you don’t have the money to buy them out of their share and can’t come up with it, then you’d be denying them their inheritance by not selling.

            1. Then the land should be subdivided so that they can sell their share and the other party can keep their share. Clearly none of you have bothered to actually watch the video.

              1. Nothing is stopping the family from making a group decision to sell off a section of the land equal to the value of one member’s share and paying them off with that. Subdivision of the land could not be done by fiat and end with everyone receiving an equal share in value. If the watering hole is on one acre, whoever receives that acre is receiving more value than anyone else.

              2. They can choose to do so. Nothing – literally nothing – stops them from doing so.

                Any parcel can be subdividing with the owners then taking single ownership of each piece. Its a simple contract.

                You might ask why they don’t do this. And what the law you’re championing would do to fix that issue.

                And then you might ask what’s stopping from each individual owner of these individual parcels from them selling them off – and now the land is ‘not in the family’ anyway.

          2. I would love to know what Vice or Chipper thinks the law should have done differently. They are complaining that families who were given land ended up selling that land within a few generations. That didn’t used to happen in England at least. They had the law of primogeniture which mandated the entire estate go to the eldest son. This ensured that the great families of England remained the great families of England and their wealth was never broken up.

            I can’t think of any other solution to what Vice is complaining of other than to adopt a law of primogeniture. Can you? It is pretty fucking hilarious that Chipper her is advocating for a return to the aristocracy in the name of RACISM!!

            1. I would love to know what Vice or Chipper thinks the law should have done differently.

              One little thing (if the video is to be believed entirely) is to give proper notice that these things are going on. A small ad in the classified section of a newspaper in another town isn’t proper notice, IMO. The family in Louisiana was spread out all over the country. The land had dozens of owners. The family members that actually lived on the land had no idea it was being sold out from under them until it was too late.

              1. That can’t possibly be true.

                An ad in a paper is not sufficient for you to get away with a forced sale of, say, a business out from under your partner. You can’t do that with a car that has two owners on the title.

                You would have to serve the owners with the court notice. Then they would have to fail to respond – *then* the court would proceed without them.

        6. I would rather ignore the fact that you can’t do a web search worth a damn.

          One of the “slaves” (actually indentured servants who sold their labor for passage) that came to Jamestown in 1619, seemed to manage to get to court well enough.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Casor

          1. You can’t use anecdotes to argue against statistics.

            1. You haven’t even provided statistics.

        7. Let’s ignore the fact that triggering sale of a land when 20% of the owners demand it is completely unjust.

          Does it work like that for corporations? Can a 20% shareholder force sale of the whole company?

        8. Let’s completely ignore the fact that freed slaves had no access to attorneys or education to be able to write a will.

          Are you saying that over the course of the next several decades, freed slaves were utterly incapable of making even the slightest bit of money with which to pay an attorney? Were incapable of forming social networks to split these costs among them? That you think an attorney is needed to write a will when wills were usually made without attorneys?

          Are you seriously sitting there and typing out that you think black people are so incompetent that they could not, in the decades of life left to them after emancipation, with their children, could not gain the basic proficiencies that poor white people had?

          That’s . . . that’s pretty racist.

          Let’s ignore the fact that triggering sale of a land when 20% of the owners demand it is completely unjust.

          Why? What makes this unjust?

          If I own a stake, I can sell that stake. Or are you going to say that owning stock means you can’t sell that stock without permission from all other stockholders?

          And the black weren’t given this land. They homesteaded it.

          What percentage of white homesteaders still have that land within their family today?

        9. Why the fuck are so many states now passing laws for uniform partition of heirs property, other than the states in the deep south? Huh?

          Well, they aren’t.

          1. Also, you don’t seem to understand what that law does.

            If a landowner dies intestate, the real estate passes onto the landowners heirs in common.

            This is mandating the very thing you’re up there complaining about – without a will to properly divide real estate then it defaults to ‘all heirs get an equal share’ rather than going to one.

            All this does is wedge in a lot of government interference to ‘make sure’ the sale is ‘fair’ – it still doesn’t stop a single co-owner from forcing a sale. It just adds a ton of costs on top of that sale making the land less-valuable to the current owners. They end up with less money. They are impoverished – again, by a government that thinks its ‘doing good’.

            1. And did you see the sorts of organizations that are backing this law where its been introduced or enacted?

              Every single one of them is a real-estate agency lobbying group. And who do you think will be the people called upon to judge the ‘fairness’ of such a sale?

  4. In drug cases, though, cops were four times more likely to have engaged in misconduct than prosecutors. When it came to federal cases, prosecutors engaged in misconduct at rates more than twice as often as police.

    Haven’t read the report (OBVIOUSLY) but I would assume it’s incentives at play. Local departments get federal grants for drug enforcement and those grants filter down in attaboys or perks to the cops, whereas federal prosecutors build resumes on conviction that parlay into advancement or – heaven forbid – elected office.

  5. On Monday, after 37 years in prison, Robert DuBoise was formally exonerated in Florida for a rape and murder from 1983 that DNA evidence now proves he did not commit. He was convicted partly due to testimony from unreliable jailhouse informants and controversial, discredited bite mark analysis. His case is a perfect example of how much our justice system is plagued by bad behavior.

    Hold it. Unless it was the case that the prosecutors knew the informants were lying, it is not misconduct to introduce their testimony. And as far as the bite mark analysis, that is the fault of the idiots who thought it up and the judge who let it in and also maybe to some degree on the defense who didn’t make a good enough case that it was unreliable. Bite mark identification was junk science. But I don’t think the persecutors knew that such that you can fairly call their using it back then at leas misconduct.

    The people who were convicted on the basis of bite mark identification were convicted not because of misconduct on the part of anyone except maybe the “scientists” who decided it was valid.

    1. In Missouri we had the Ryan Ferguson case, which was eventually overturned (after he spent 8 years in jail or so) due to witnesses admitting false testimony, Brady violations by the prosecution, coached witness testimony by the police, among other things, etc. Blatant prosecutorial misconduct.

      Rather than face any negative consequences, that prosecutor is now a judge. Yay.

      1. A witness lying is not a Brady violation. A Brady violation is the prosecution having evidence a witness is lying and not telling the defense. And the witness coaching is not necessarily misconduct. Coercing witnesses is. Feeding witnesses facts is stupid but it is not misconduct unless you lie about doing so and fail to tell the defense what you have done. Ultimately, it is up to the jury whether to believe a witness and the fact that they were coached doesn’t mean the jury can’t believe them. It just means they are less likely to believe them.

    2. The scare quotes around scientists is correct, the whole ‘science’ of forensics was invented whole cloth by cops and prosecutors with no scientific background.

    3. Use of jailhouse informants is another area that needs some reform, I’d say. If they are being rewarded for testimony, they have a tremendous incentive to lie or make shit up.

      1. I agree. but not every jailhouse informant is lying. And using one not per say misconduct.

      2. The jury is the check on that. Many times, informants are treated as worthless.

    4. The prosecutors knew. When Balko used to write here he covered Hainey and his ilk extensively.

      When your ‘forensic evidence’ is stuff that only comes from one man and has no peer review and isn’t used in any other part of the country, you’re using it because it makes it easy to railroad people.

  6. I recommend the Wrongful Conviction podcast, which does a great job of telling these harrowing stories of ruthless cops and prosecutors, and debunks junk science like bite mark analysis, blood spatter analysis, et. al. A certain Kamala Harris’ name does come up from time to time. You can get a great introduction to it in one of the Rogan Podcast interviews from a couple months ago.

    1. The junk science is the worst part of it. A judge or a jury has no way of knowing that a cop planted evidence on a defendant or faked a confession. They do, however, have the ability and the responsibility to see bullshit science for what it is. The judges in particular deserve the lion’s share of the blame for allowing bad science to be admitted as evidence. Basically, judges will believe anything as long as it is said by a guy in a lab coat. Imagine Ron Bailey making rulings on the admission of and reliability of scientific evidence in a courtroom and you have a good idea of how most judges are. They really are that bad.

      1. The junk science is the part of it that’s easiest fixed. Just a couple precedent cases where bite mark analysis, blood spatter analysis, shoe mark, hair follicle, etc. gets thrown out as unreliable, then these start fixing themselves going forward.

        The problem would be the shitshow of appeals that would fill the court with old cases demanding to be retried due to conviction on that junk science, and no prosecutor, judge, or cop wants that shitshow.

        1. It would be. The worst part is that while there are certainly innocent people convicted by that bullshit, there are no doubt a lot of guilty people as well. It is going to be a nightmare to unscrew.

        2. no prosecutor, judge, or cop wants that shitshow

          They should have thought about that before they….wait, never mind, that logic only applies to the little people.

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  8. 2400 cases in 30 years; that’s 80 a year, out of how many? The best estimate seems to be that 70,000,000 Americans have some type of rap sheet [a much bigger problem it seems, in and of itself; how many of these are drug, prostitution, and other non violent “victimless” crimes?].

    Of course we all hear about those who were wrongly convicted of murder or other capital crimes and spent decades in prison. You hope such persons, upon being exonerated, get the equivalent of winning the power ball lottery.

    Just saying it genuinely sucks to be one of those 80, but still a very small percentage. We’re not anywhere near 3rd world status on this.

    1. You hope such persons, upon being exonerated, get the equivalent of winning the power ball lottery.

      Depends some states have very low minimum dollars per year incarcerated with a cap on the total allowed. I believe one jurisdiction even had the chutzpah to claim that the exoneree’s time to file had passed as they should have filed for compensation for unjust conviction as soon as they had been convicted.

  9. Do you suppose the rate of police and prosecutor misconduct is any less in true convictions?
    Likely not, because such behaviors are so systematic that they will do them no matter the case.

  10. the kinds of “misconcuct” described are all forms of bearing false witness against someone. The biblical penalty for doing this is that the liar, for that’s what they are, bear the full punishment wrongly laid upon the victim of the lie, or the punishment that WOULD have been had the lie been believed.
    That means when a copper lies about the drop gun they left at the scene, labelling it an “illegal weapon” possessed by the suspect, and that gun was theoretically used to kill, if ocnvicted the accused would face life in prison or death, then the lying cop gets what his victim would have gotten.
    In the case of te dirty cop in Houston that wove the fairy tale about the drug sales in the Nichols home that led to the read and their death, the cop needs to face death.. as HIS lies lead directly and causally to their death. Misconduct? Sure. Nail him.

    How about the Duke La Crosse “rape” cases, or the George Zimmerman case, where the prosecutor KNOWINGLY seated an individual to testify as a witness who was not even the person he claimed her to be? HAD ZImmerman been convicted he’d have faced life in prison or death. Same should befall this rotten prosecutor. He’ll never be able to try another case from his prison cell, and the public will be better defended in that situatioin. Today we have the two officers charged with premediated murder because a man in their custody died of a fentanyl overdose. We have a young man in Wisconsin charged with premediated murder when the video and even the declarations in the charging papers provide as stipulated evidence fully exonerate the man, and the fourth charge, weapons possession is not based on ANY law on the books in Wisconsin. He was fully and lawfuly able to possess that weapon where and when he did.
    EVERY ONE of these cops and prosecutors whose “misconduct” perjury has led to a wrongful conviction MUST be dealt with to the fullest and harshest extent of the law.
    When justice is rigged, we are in a dictatorship, and liberty is a joke. If this is not straightened out, we are doomed. Franz Kafka wrote a novel about this kind of stuff. Read it. Its called “The Trial”. We do NOT live in that kind of society.

  11. When all participants of a “system” are feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition — and are allowed (by your neighbors and friends — hopefully not you) to
    • Make the laws,
    • Enforce the laws,
    • Prosecute the laws,
    • Hire the prosecutors,
    • License the “defense” attorneys,
    • Pay the “judges”,
    • Build the jails,
    • Contract jails out to private entities,
    • Employ and pay the wardens,
    • Employ and pay the guards,
    • Employ and pay the parole officers,
    One can’t honestly call it a “justice” system. It’s a system of abject tyranny.
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

  12. 2400 exonerations…50% involving malfeasance…30 years of history…that’s 40 cases of prosecutor/police misconduct per year.

    Zero is the ideal…but humans are just that, human, so zero will never happen.

    40 cases out of 12 million arrests per year (.000000033%)…we can always do better but quit running around with your hair on fire.

  13. This is the least surprising story I’ve ever read, in the history of news.

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