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Tags Amanda Knox , Italy cases , Meredith Kercher , murder cases , Raffaele Sollecito

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Old 4th May 2022, 04:35 PM   #2481
Numbers
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
To date, the US Government has not stated the reason for its decision that Griner is unlawfully or wrongfully detained.

There are eleven standards or criteria suggested for evaluating such detention in the US law (22 US Code Sec. 1741), and I quoted three standards which I believed were most likely applicable in the Amanda Knox case.

Other criteria may (or may not) be more relevant in the Brittney Griner case. For example:

the individual is being detained solely or substantially to influence United States Government policy or to secure economic or political concessions from the United States Government;

the individual is detained in a country where the Department of State has determined in its annual human rights reports that the judicial system is not independent or impartial, is susceptible to corruption, or is incapable of rendering just verdicts; or

United States diplomatic engagement is likely necessary to secure the release of the detained individual.

The full list of the eleven suggested criteria listed in the law may be found at:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/1741
It's likely that the US State Department's views on trials in Russia, expressed in its 2021 yearly human rights report, contributed to the Secretary's calling Griner's detention unlawful or wrongful.

Quote:
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law provides for an independent judiciary, but judges remained subject to influence from the executive branch, the armed forces, and other security forces, particularly in high-profile or polititcally sensitive cases, as well as to corruption. The outcomes of some trials appeared predetermined. Acquittal rates remained extremely low. In 2020 courts acquitted 0.34 percent of all defendants.
....

The law provides for the right to a fair and public trial, but executive interference with the judiciary and judicial corruption undermined this right.

....

The law provides for trial by jury in criminal cases if the defendant is charged with murder, kidnapping, narcotics smuggling, and certain other serious crimes. Nonetheless, trials by jury remained rare, and most verdicts and sentences were rendered by judges. The acquittal rate in trials by jury was higher (23 percent in 2019) than in trials before a judge (0.34 percent in 2020), although acquittals by jury were sometimes overturned by judges in appellate courts.

On February 16, {2021} the ECHR issued a ruling {an interim measure which, by treaty, must be immediately executed} that obliged Russian authorities to release Navalny {a Russian opposition leader} from pretrial detention due to threats to his safety. Russian authorities dismissed the ECHR ruling as undue interference in the Russian judicial system and claimed it was without merit after a 2020 constitutional amendment gave Russian law primacy over international law or any treaty to which Russia is a party. {The CoE-ECHR treaty requires that the human rights law of each state party to the treaty must be consistent with the minimum standards of the Convention and ECHR case-law; that is, primacy must be granted to the CoE-ECHR treaty and its international law.}
Source: https://www.state.gov/reports/2021-c...ctices/russia/

Text in braces ({}) are my comments or additions.

Last edited by Numbers; 4th May 2022 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 4th May 2022, 05:11 PM   #2482
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Since the State Department 2021 human rights report on Russia had some interesting material, I looked in the 2008 and 2009 reports on Italy for any information relevant to the Knox - Sollecito case. I didn't find any. However, I did find mention of the G8 Genoa case and of prison guards brutalizing inmates.

Here's the excerpt on the G8 Genoa police mistreatment and falsification of evidence during the unjustified raid on peaceful G8 protestors, and the subsequent police perjury:

Quote:
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits such practices; however, there were reports that police occasionally used excessive force against persons, particularly Roma and immigrants detained in connection with common criminal offenses or in the course of identity checks.

Judicial activity related to police actions during protest demonstrations at the G 8 summit in Genoa in 2001 continued. On March 29, Genoa prosecutors requested the indictment of Gianni De Gennaro, then head of the National Police, for inducing police officers to give false testimony regarding police behavior toward the protesters. (On May 23, the government appointed De Gennaro to be head of the Department for Information and Security, coordinating intelligence.)

On July 15, a court sentenced 14 police officers to prison terms of five months to five years for the "inhuman or degrading treatment," including assault, of some protesters whom they were detaining. On November 13, a Genoa court sentenced 13 police officers convicted of perjury, conspiracy, or assault during a police raid on a building used by the protesters to two to four year prison terms. In the final ruling, the Genoa court noted that certain degrading treatment of protesters might be considered torture under international conventions. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) repeatedly have criticized the country for not having a specific crime of torture in its criminal code.
Source: https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rl...eur/119086.htm

Here's a 2011 follow-up on the G8 Genoa case, specifically for De Gennaro:

Quote:
On November 22, the Court of Cassation cleared Gianni De Gennaro, former head of the National Police during protest demonstrations at the G-8 Summit in 2001, of charges of having induced police officers to give false testimony regarding police behavior toward the protesters. In June 2010 the appeals court of Genoa had sentenced De Gennaro to 16 months’ imprisonment.
Also, in 2011, State reports:

Quote:
Although the law entitles detainees to prompt and regular access to lawyers of their choosing, authorities did not always respect that right in practice. In a 2010 report the CPT {Committee for the Prevention of Torture, an agency of the CoE} found that in some cases police effectively denied detained persons the right to an attorney, which can be invoked only at the time of arrest, by engaging detainees in “informal chats” before formally arresting them.
Again, I found no specific reference to the Knox - Sollecito case.

Source: https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rl...port/index.htm

Last edited by Numbers; 4th May 2022 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 4th May 2022, 06:07 PM   #2483
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WHAT? You mean the carabinieri is capable of LYING and intentionally using 'interviews' to prevent access to a lawyer? NO! Surely, you must be joking!
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Old 4th May 2022, 06:29 PM   #2484
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I think she is guilty. If the Russians wanted to trump up charges, I think other charges would be more likely. The actual accusation of having cannabis oil in canister for use with vaping seems something very likely that a young USian might bring into Russia without particularly thinking it was illegal, or serious. The problem is what may be legal in particular US states can be a very serious offence in other countries.

That is now political is undoubtedly true.

The US itself takes drug smuggling seriously so I think it will be difficult to claim this is genuinely an illegal or wrongful detention. I have no doubt that if politically expedient the US will claim illegal and wrongful detention. However it is not as if any additional sanctions can be levied on Russia or Putin.
I don't have an opinion on whether she's guilty or innocent. There isn't enough evidence of either to make that kind of judgement. Yes, she may have taken the cannabis oil in or this could have been a Russian set up. Either is quite possible. But, I have to wonder: how did she get it past US Security in the first place when leaving the US? Does she have a history of using it?
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Old 4th May 2022, 09:16 PM   #2485
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
....

Also, in 2011, State reports:

Quote:
Although the law entitles detainees to prompt and regular access to lawyers of their choosing, authorities did not always respect that right in practice. In a 2010 report the CPT {Committee for the Prevention of Torture, an agency of the CoE} found that in some cases police effectively denied detained persons the right to an attorney, which can be invoked only at the time of arrest, by engaging detainees in “informal chats” before formally arresting them.
Again, I found no specific reference to the Knox - Sollecito case.

Source: https://2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rl...port/index.htm
I sought out the original CPT report that motivated the above statement from State Department's 2011 Human Rights Report. I wanted to understand in more detail what the CPT had found about Italy denying legal assistance during "informal chats" that were really interrogations.

Here's the text of the relevant section of the CPT report on Italy (Bold typeface from the original; yellow highlighting is mine):

Quote:
Italy: Visit 2008
CPT/Inf (2010) 12 | Section: 8/48 | Date: 09/04/2009
A. Law enforcement agencies / 3. Safeguards against ill-treatment

14.The CPT welcomes the fact that specific information sheets were introduced by the various law enforcement agencies after the 2004 visit, setting out the fundamental rights of detained persons (including the right of notification, the right of access to a lawyer and the right of access to a doctor). These sheets have been made available in a wide range of languages on the websites of the relevant Ministries.

The delegation noted that, in many establishments visited, officers had downloaded the sheets in various languages and given a copy in the relevant language to persons taken into custody. However, in several establishments (in particular, at Naples-Poggioreale State Police Station, Montichiari Carabinieri Station and Brescia Municipal Police Headquarters) it remained the case that detained persons were only informed verbally of their rights.

The CPT recommends that steps be taken by the relevant authorities to ensure that, in all law enforcement establishments in Italy, persons who have been detained – for whatever reason – are fully informed of their rights as from the very outset of their deprivation of liberty (that is, from the moment when they are obliged to remain with the police). This should be ensured by provision of clear verbal information at the very outset, to be supplemented at the earliest opportunity (that is, immediately upon first entry into police premises) by provision of a copy of the above-mentioned information sheet. Further, the persons concerned should be asked to sign a statement certifying that they have been informed of their rights.

15.The CPT is very concerned by the fact that certain legal safeguards (in particular, the rights of notification and access to a lawyer) were, as a rule, still not granted at the outset of the deprivation of liberty, but only once the persons concerned had been formally detained (arrestato), despite the specific recommendations repeatedly made by the CPT after all previous visits. As a matter of fact, many persons who had been accompanied to a law enforcement establishment as an apprehended person (fermato) were deprived of their liberty for several hours (or sometimes even more) before they were actually informed of their rights. In addition, during that period, detained persons were at times also subjected to informal questioning without the presence of a lawyer. Further, it remained the case that persons who had been deprived of their liberty for other reasons than being suspected of having committed a criminal offence (e.g. for identification purposes) were often not permitted to inform their family or a third party of their situation.

The CPT calls upon the Italian authorities to take effective steps to ensure that all persons deprived of their liberty by law enforcement agencies are granted the right to notify a close relative or third party of their choice of their situation and the right of access to a lawyer, as from the very outset of their deprivation of liberty. These rights should be enjoyed not only by criminal suspects, but also by anyone who is under a legal obligation to attend – and stay at – a law enforcement establishment.


16.As regards, more specifically, the right of access to a lawyer, the CPT has repeatedly expressed its concern about Section 104, paragraphs 3 and 4, of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), which provides that the competent judicial authorities may invoke "exceptional and specific reasons of circumspection" to delay a detained person's access to a lawyer – whether chosen by the detained person or appointed ex officio – for up to five days[1].

In their response to the report on the 2004 visit[2], the Italian authorities indicated that the above-mentioned provision may apply “only by motivated decree” and that “[s]uch measure is envisaged only under specific circumstances, namely the existence of specific and exceptional precaution reasons”. Reference was also made to the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione), according to which “the decree by the competent justice not including detailed indications about the cited ‘specific and exceptional precaution reasons, as laid down by law’ makes void the following examination before the justice of the person under custody”. The authorities further pointed out that “no derogation to the mandatory participation of the legal counsel is allowed in both the examination of the person arrested to be adopted during the hearing of confirmation (udienza di convalida dell’arresto) and the examination to be held when controlling the regular execution of the pre-trial detention”.

The CPT wishes to stress once again that the effective exercise of the right of access to a lawyer constitutes an essential safeguard in the prevention of ill-treatment. Experience has shown that it is usually during the period immediately following the deprivation of liberty – and, a fortiori, during which the individual is subjected to questioning under an investigation procedure – that the risk of intimidation and other ill-treatment is at its greatest.

The CPT acknowledges that it may exceptionally be necessary to delay for a certain period a detained person’s access to a particular lawyer chosen by him/her. However, this should not result in the rights to talk to a lawyer in private and have a lawyer present during interrogations being totally denied during the period in question. In such cases, access to another, independent, lawyer who can be trusted not to jeopardise the legitimate interests of the investigation should be arranged. The Committee calls upon the Italian authorities to take all necessary steps – including of a legislative nature – to ensure that every person detained by law enforcement agencies has the right to talk in private with a lawyer, as from the very outset of deprivation of liberty, it being understood that when "exceptional and specific reasons of circumspection" are invoked, the lawyer will be appointed ex officio.
Based upon this 2008 CPT report, I suggest that the experiences of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in being unlawfully deprived of legal counsel during their interrogations of 5/6 November 2007 were not isolated incidents.

Did the Perugia police station use the CPT recommended defense rights information sheets? Apparently not for Knox and Sollecito, in my understanding.

Source: https://hudoc.cpt.coe.int/eng?i=p-ita-20080914-en-8

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Old 4th May 2022, 11:47 PM   #2486
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
I sought out the original CPT report that motivated the above statement from State Department's 2011 Human Rights Report. I wanted to understand in more detail what the CPT had found about Italy denying legal assistance during "informal chats" that were really interrogations.

Here's the text of the relevant section of the CPT report on Italy (Bold typeface from the original; yellow highlighting is mine):



Based upon this 2008 CPT report, I suggest that the experiences of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in being unlawfully deprived of legal counsel during their interrogations of 5/6 November 2007 were not isolated incidents.

Did the Perugia police station use the CPT recommended defense rights information sheets? Apparently not for Knox and Sollecito, in my understanding.

Source: https://hudoc.cpt.coe.int/eng?i=p-ita-20080914-en-8
Only people who think...or need to think... the Perugia police were all above board and completely honest, don't realize this is exactly what the Perugia police did. As Burleigh wrote in her book (pg 190):

Erika Pontini, who covered the case in Perugia for La Nazione of Florence and who was close to Officer Napoleoni, recalled, “On the night of the fifth, we knew, journalists knew, something was going to happen. They thought Sollecito was the fragile link in the chain.”

(Press knowing something was going to happen on November 5, 2007, Erika
Pontini, interview with me, December 2009, pg 314)).
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Old 5th May 2022, 12:19 PM   #2487
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
Only people who think...or need to think... the Perugia police were all above board and completely honest, don't realize this is exactly what the Perugia police did. As Burleigh wrote in her book (pg 190):

Erika Pontini, who covered the case in Perugia for La Nazione of Florence and who was close to Officer Napoleoni, recalled, “On the night of the fifth, we knew, journalists knew, something was going to happen. They thought Sollecito was the fragile link in the chain.”

(Press knowing something was going to happen on November 5, 2007, Erika
Pontini, interview with me, December 2009, pg 314)).
The only controversy with this is whether or not Perugian police were like that by design, or because of incompetence.

Going back to Michael Winterbottom's 2014, "The Face of an Angel," both he and his screen writer (Paul Viragh) chose the latter. The plot seemed to have stalled when the lead, Thomas, finally had an opportunity to meet the Frank Sfarzo character, Eduardo. The plot suddenly made sense for Thomas when Eduardo sat him down and said, "The truth is, the cops here are not very smart."

They even had the Barbie Nadeau character (Simone, played by Kate Beckinsale) saying to Thomas, "All of us journalists here had to wait until Eduardo's blog post came out each day, to find out what was going on."

"The Face of an Angel" was actually not a very good film, but it was solidly on the side of innocence at the end. It also had a very touching tribute to Meredith Kercher, put in the mouth of the John Kercher character at Meredith's funeral.

Given that the screenplay was based on Barbie Nadeau's book, "Student Killer", once in the hands of Winterbottom and Viragh the true nature of the Perugian police came out - almost totally uncommented on in her book. Well, all except the part where Nadeau had written that co-prosecutor Comodi threaten to quite Mignini's team if he went to trial with the Satanic-rite theory of the crime. Whether or not that actually happened, who knows. But Nadeau - friendly to Mignini - wrote it that way. Nadeau thought that Perugian authorities were the way they were by design. Winterbottom and Viragh by incompetence.
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Old 5th May 2022, 12:37 PM   #2488
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
The only controversy with this is whether or not Perugian police were like that by design, or because of incompetence.

Going back to Michael Winterbottom's 2014, "The Face of an Angel," both he and his screen writer (Paul Viragh) chose the latter. The plot seemed to have stalled when the lead, Thomas, finally had an opportunity to meet the Frank Sfarzo character, Eduardo. The plot suddenly made sense for Thomas when Eduardo sat him down and said, "The truth is, the cops here are not very smart."

They even had the Barbie Nadeau character (Simone, played by Kate Beckinsale) saying to Thomas, "All of us journalists here had to wait until Eduardo's blog post came out each day, to find out what was going on."

"The Face of an Angel" was actually not a very good film, but it was solidly on the side of innocence at the end. It also had a very touching tribute to Meredith Kercher, put in the mouth of the John Kercher character at Meredith's funeral.

Given that the screenplay was based on Barbie Nadeau's book, "Student Killer", once in the hands of Winterbottom and Viragh the true nature of the Perugian police came out - almost totally uncommented on in her book. Well, all except the part where Nadeau had written that co-prosecutor Comodi threaten to quite Mignini's team if he went to trial with the Satanic-rite theory of the crime. Whether or not that actually happened, who knows. But Nadeau - friendly to Mignini - wrote it that way. Nadeau thought that Perugian authorities were the way they were by design. Winterbottom and Viragh by incompetence.
Could it not be both? That would explain everything.
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Old 5th May 2022, 11:58 PM   #2489
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There is no doubt they weren't very bright and incompetent. Just reading their statements in court and how they handled the investigation is evidence of that. I mean really...what so-called computer expert would not know how to copy a hard drive without frying it? Not once, not twice, but three times? Or that you have to change gloves between handling evidence? And you don't use the same collection pad over a large area like a sink because it's bound to have DNA from its users? Or to change shoe coverings between rooms at a murder site? Storing wet towels covered in blood in a plastic bag? Storing a piece of metal evidence in solution? Evidence is kept in paper bags for a reason. And really...picking a knife out of a drawer full of knives because it looked "really clean" and because of "intuition"? Who puts a dirty knife into their cutlery drawer? Then there's declaring only a woman would cover a body. Yeah, right and deciding that no one could climb the wall into FR's room without even attempting it first and not allowing the coroner to take the body temperature? Keystone Cops is too nice of a description for that lot.
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Old 6th May 2022, 03:24 AM   #2490
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
There is no doubt they weren't very bright and incompetent. Just reading their statements in court and how they handled the investigation is evidence of that. I mean really...what so-called computer expert would not know how to copy a hard drive without frying it? Not once, not twice, but three times? Or that you have to change gloves between handling evidence? And you don't use the same collection pad over a large area like a sink because it's bound to have DNA from its users? Or to change shoe coverings between rooms at a murder site? Storing wet towels covered in blood in a plastic bag? Storing a piece of metal evidence in solution? Evidence is kept in paper bags for a reason. And really...picking a knife out of a drawer full of knives because it looked "really clean" and because of "intuition"? Who puts a dirty knife into their cutlery drawer? Then there's declaring only a woman would cover a body. Yeah, right and deciding that no one could climb the wall into FR's room without even attempting it first and not allowing the coroner to take the body temperature? Keystone Cops is too nice of a description for that lot.
I very much doubt that the destruction of the computer hard-drives was an oops, silly me! moment. I think that there is was a certain amount of incompetence mixed with criminality and psychopathy. Mignini managed to tip-toe through the tulips with the abuse of office charges levelled against him. Napoleoni and Zugarini weren't so lucky. It's clear that these individuals mentioned thought that their positions would protect them from criminal behaviour.

West Midlands serious crime squad was disbanded in 1989 due to massive abuse of authority with literally dozens of wrongful convictions, some of them very high profile cases. My feeling is that the general consensus is to get people banged-up to appease the public even though the authorities strongly suspect that they are innocent. An unresolved case simply isn't an option. Jeremy Bamber was convicted of murdering 5 members of his family in 1985 while trying to blame it on his schizophrenic sister. His case is on appeal with massive amounts of evidence in his favour but I very much doubt that he will ever be released, simply because an acquittal would have ramifications that affect those who contrived and benefited from his conviction.

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Old 6th May 2022, 07:28 AM   #2491
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
There is no doubt they weren't very bright and incompetent....
Originally Posted by TomG View Post
.... My feeling is that the general consensus is to get people banged-up to appease the public even though the authorities strongly suspect that they are innocent. An unresolved case simply isn't an option. ....

Hoots
There are cases of apparent framing by police in the US. Such cases are not as infrequent as one might wish.

Sometimes the same police officer or police team is alleged to have framed a number of persons for different crimes over the course of years.

One such case, in New York City, is that of "retired Detective Louis Scarcella {and his partners}, a former Brooklyn homicide detective who has been accused of coercing witnesses and framing suspects during the high-crime era of the late 1980s and 1990s."*

The alleged framing does not show any particular brilliant strategy...it's often just, allegedly, coercing a single witness to testify falsely when there is no other evidence against the defendant. And, often in Scaracella's cases, it was apparently the same witness! (At least six such cases, according to the Wikipedia article.)

To date, fifteen cases of wrongful conviction have been alleged to have resulted from the alleged misconduct of Saracella and his police partner.**

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/shawn-w...er-conviction/

*The short quote above is from the above source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_N._Scarcella

** 15 alleged cases:

Quote:
Louis N. Scarcella (skar-SELL-uh, born 1951/1952) is a retired detective from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) who initially came to prominence during the "crack epidemic" of the 1980s and 1990s, earning frequent commendations before many of his investigations were overturned in the 2010s. As a member of the Brooklyn North Homicide Squad, he and his longtime partner Stephen Chmil built a reputation for obtaining convictions in difficult cases. Since 2013, Scarcella has received extensive and sustained publicity for multiple allegations of investigative misconduct that resulted in false testimony against crime suspects, meaning that innocent parties could be serving long prison terms and guilty individuals could be going free because of wrongful procedures.

As of November 2019, fifteen people had their convictions overturned in Scarcella's homicide cases, as the Kings County District Attorney's Office (Brooklyn DA) continued to review dozens of his investigations. Prosecutors and judges have explicitly cited evidence of his improper conduct, in criminal cases involving at least eight convicted defendants (Jenkins, Ranta, Shakur, Bunn, Hargrave, Washington, Moses, DeLeon, as described below). Nevertheless, Scarcella has consistently denied wrongdoing, and the statute of limitations has protected him from possible legal consequences.

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Old 7th May 2022, 06:16 AM   #2492
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
There are cases of apparent framing by police in the US. Such cases are not as infrequent as one might wish.

Sometimes the same police officer or police team is alleged to have framed a number of persons for different crimes over the course of years.

One such case, in New York City, is that of "retired Detective Louis Scarcella {and his partners}, a former Brooklyn homicide detective who has been accused of coercing witnesses and framing suspects during the high-crime era of the late 1980s and 1990s."*

The alleged framing does not show any particular brilliant strategy...it's often just, allegedly, coercing a single witness to testify falsely when there is no other evidence against the defendant. And, often in Scaracella's cases, it was apparently the same witness! (At least six such cases, according to the Wikipedia article.)

To date, fifteen cases of wrongful conviction have been alleged to have resulted from the alleged misconduct of Saracella and his police partner.**

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/shawn-w...er-conviction/

*The short quote above is from the above source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_N._Scarcella

** 15 alleged cases:
If as Vixen claims police/prosecutors are always honest and ethical and police/prosecutor misconduct never happens, how do you explain numerous of police/prosecutor abuses as detailed in the above post.
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Old 9th May 2022, 06:53 PM   #2493
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no route of contamination known in the Durrua case

In an essay that appeared circa 2008, Professor William Thompson wrote ("The Potential for Error in Forensic DNA Testing (and How That Complicates the Use of DNA Databases for Criminal Identification"), "During a cold case investigation of the 1968 rape/murder of a 13-year-old girl named Jane Durrua, a laboratory discovered male DNA on the girl’s underwear. In early 2004, a database search revealed that the male profile matched a man named Jerry Lee Belamy. Belamy was charged with the 1968 murder. Fortunately for him, however, the forensic scientists who had made this “cold hit” were invited, in late 2004, to appear on a television program about the case. While preparing for their TV appearance, they went back over their laboratory notes and made a disturbing discovery. The analyst who extracted the male DNA from the victim’s underwear had, on the same day, been working on another case that included samples from several individuals—including Jerry Lee Belamy.[57,58] There was no direct evidence that cross-contamination of samples had occurred, but it seemed a very unlikely coincidence that Bellamy just happened to be involved in two different criminal cases, years apart, that were processed by the same analyst at the same time."

Professor Thompson is an expert in the area of probability as it applies to law. IIRC a prominent witness for the prosecution claimed that contamination must be proved. I probably argued against that proposition on previous occasions, but here is a good example that shows it to be untrue.
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Old 9th May 2022, 09:39 PM   #2494
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
In an essay that appeared circa 2008, Professor William Thompson wrote ("The Potential for Error in Forensic DNA Testing (and How That Complicates the Use of DNA Databases for Criminal Identification"), "During a cold case investigation of the 1968 rape/murder of a 13-year-old girl named Jane Durrua, a laboratory discovered male DNA on the girl’s underwear. In early 2004, a database search revealed that the male profile matched a man named Jerry Lee Belamy. Belamy was charged with the 1968 murder. Fortunately for him, however, the forensic scientists who had made this “cold hit” were invited, in late 2004, to appear on a television program about the case. While preparing for their TV appearance, they went back over their laboratory notes and made a disturbing discovery. The analyst who extracted the male DNA from the victim’s underwear had, on the same day, been working on another case that included samples from several individuals—including Jerry Lee Belamy.[57,58] There was no direct evidence that cross-contamination of samples had occurred, but it seemed a very unlikely coincidence that Bellamy just happened to be involved in two different criminal cases, years apart, that were processed by the same analyst at the same time."

Professor Thompson is an expert in the area of probability as it applies to law. IIRC a prominent witness for the prosecution claimed that contamination must be proved. I probably argued against that proposition on previous occasions, but here is a good example that shows it to be untrue.
The prosecution witness' statement is essentially an argument that the defense must prove that the accused is innocent, contrary to the accepted legal doctrine that in a fair criminal trial, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.

The Massei court motivation report is full of examples of Massei violating the well-established fair trial legal principle of "in dubio pro reo": when there is doubt, the court rules for the accused.
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:47 AM   #2495
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
In an essay that appeared circa 2008, Professor William Thompson wrote ("The Potential for Error in Forensic DNA Testing (and How That Complicates the Use of DNA Databases for Criminal Identification"), "During a cold case investigation of the 1968 rape/murder of a 13-year-old girl named Jane Durrua, a laboratory discovered male DNA on the girl’s underwear. In early 2004, a database search revealed that the male profile matched a man named Jerry Lee Belamy. Belamy was charged with the 1968 murder. Fortunately for him, however, the forensic scientists who had made this “cold hit” were invited, in late 2004, to appear on a television program about the case. While preparing for their TV appearance, they went back over their laboratory notes and made a disturbing discovery. The analyst who extracted the male DNA from the victim’s underwear had, on the same day, been working on another case that included samples from several individuals—including Jerry Lee Belamy.[57,58] There was no direct evidence that cross-contamination of samples had occurred, but it seemed a very unlikely coincidence that Bellamy just happened to be involved in two different criminal cases, years apart, that were processed by the same analyst at the same time."

Professor Thompson is an expert in the area of probability as it applies to law. IIRC a prominent witness for the prosecution claimed that contamination must be proved. I probably argued against that proposition on previous occasions, but here is a good example that shows it to be untrue.
Chris, what is your opinion on the computer program created by Mark Perlin (Cybergentics) to (allegedly) separate and identify mixed DNA with more than two donors?
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Old 10th May 2022, 07:14 AM   #2496
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Introduction to DNA mixtures

Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
Chris, what is your opinion on the computer program created by Mark Perlin (Cybergentics) to (allegedly) separate and identify mixed DNA with more than two donors?
I will have a look. For an introduction to some of the problems of DNA mixtures, Suzanne Ryan's essays are good reading.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:51 AM   #2497
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
I will have a look. For an introduction to some of the problems of DNA mixtures, Suzanne Ryan's essays are good reading.
Thanks
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:17 PM   #2498
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PCAST and validation studies

One problem with TrueAllele (the software that Mark Perlin developed) is that it is not open source. A second problem is the lack of validation studies that are performed by outside groups. "'Appropriate evaluation of the proposed methods should consist of studies by multiple groups, not associated with the software developers, that investigate the performance and define the limitations of programs by testing them on a wide range of mixtures with different properties,' the [2016] PCAST report says." ProPublica

Experts disagree on how serious the lack of transparency is. "'Microsoft Excel doesn’t release its code either, but we can test it and see that it works, and that’s what we care about,' Hampikian said." "'I suppose these are both Constitutional principles, but I thought one would trump the other,' Krane said. 'And that’s not what’s happening here.'"

My present view is that whether or not the code is not open source, there should be at least two validation studies done by people not associated with the company.
EDT
There is an interview with Greg Hampikian here.
"Since 2016, the authors have been funded by a DOJ Bloodsworth Grant to use probabilistic genotyping (TrueAllele) and other DNA analysis methods to help free the wrongfully convicted. They have helped overturn 3 convictions (a 4th expected soon). Working with the Montana Innocence Project, the authors helped exonerate two men in 2018 who were convicted of murder and had each served more than two decades in prison. In that case, new DNA analysis has led police to investigate a man who is already serving time for a similar crime."
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Old 11th May 2022, 01:03 AM   #2499
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
One problem with TrueAllele (the software that Mark Perlin developed) is that it is not open source. A second problem is the lack of validation studies that are performed by outside groups. "'Appropriate evaluation of the proposed methods should consist of studies by multiple groups, not associated with the software developers, that investigate the performance and define the limitations of programs by testing them on a wide range of mixtures with different properties,' the [2016] PCAST report says." ProPublica

Experts disagree on how serious the lack of transparency is. "'Microsoft Excel doesn’t release its code either, but we can test it and see that it works, and that’s what we care about,' Hampikian said." "'I suppose these are both Constitutional principles, but I thought one would trump the other,' Krane said. 'And that’s not what’s happening here.'"

My present view is that whether or not the code is not open source, there should be at least two validation studies done by people not associated with the company.
EDT
There is an interview with Greg Hampikian here.
"Since 2016, the authors have been funded by a DOJ Bloodsworth Grant to use probabilistic genotyping (TrueAllele) and other DNA analysis methods to help free the wrongfully convicted. They have helped overturn 3 convictions (a 4th expected soon). Working with the Montana Innocence Project, the authors helped exonerate two men in 2018 who were convicted of murder and had each served more than two decades in prison. In that case, new DNA analysis has led police to investigate a man who is already serving time for a similar crime."
I see you have the same concerns I have with the lack of validation studies done by those not associated with Cybergenetics, too. I do know there was one case where the TrueAllele results were very different from the STRmix GP program used by the FBI, the US Army, et al.
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Old 11th May 2022, 07:05 AM   #2500
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To refute the argument of the Guilters that police never commit crimes or engage in misconduct, this article about the number of police officers relieved of police duties during investigations of misconduct, or not relieved of duties although clearly involved in misconduct, in a major US city, is of interest:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/investiga...-show/2829358/

Some officers clearly have allegedly committed misconduct but remain on the force, and therefore the prosecutor's office will not call them to testify against alleged criminals:

Quote:
In 2017, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office sent a letter to the Chicago Police Department saying that 10 of the {Police officer} Watts {team of} officers are so tainted, they will never again be called to testify in a criminal case.

"Our office continues to maintain the policy of not calling these officers in cases that are pending before the courts today,” State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said earlier this year during a news conference after another wave of convictions were vacated.
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Old 11th May 2022, 05:05 PM   #2501
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Readers may be interested in how the Communication in Sollecito v. Italy compares to that in Knox v. Italy, and if anything about the ECHR judgment can be predicted from the Communication.

Here are the texts of the ECHR's summaries of the Case Details of the two cases:

Quote:
Document Type Communicated Case
Title SOLLECITO c. ITALIE
App. No(s). 1157/18
Importance Level 3
Respondent State(s) Italy
Conclusion(s) Affaire communiquée
Article(s)
5
5-3
5-5
6
6-1
6-2
Keywords
(Art. 5) Right to liberty and security
(Art. 5-5) Compensation
(Art. 6) Right to a fair trial
Date 01/02/2022
Source: https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-215997

Quote:
Document Type Communicated Case
Title KNOX c. ITALIE
App. No(s). 76577/13
Importance Level 3
Represented by DALLA VEDOVA C.
Respondent State(s) Italy
Conclusion(s) Affaire communiquée
Article(s)
3
6
6-1
6-3-a
8
8-1
Keywords
(Art. 3) Prohibition of torture
(Art. 6) Right to a fair trial
(Art. 8) Right to respect for private and family life
Date 29/04/2016
Source: https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-163098

The first point is that each Communication is directed to the Respondent State (Italy) and notifies the State that the ECHR is requesting its response to the allegations of the applicant (Sollecito in his case, Knox in her case) as interpreted through the lens of ECHR case-law by the ECHR.

A second point is that each case is given Importance Level 3 by the ECHR. This means, contrary to the claim of Guilters that the case is not important, but rather that the case is anticipated as not likely to generate new ECHR case-law but rather can be judged on the basis of existing case-law. However, as has been observed in Knox v. Italy, the final judgment becomes enshrined as ECHR case-law, and may include enhancements or extensions of existing case-law.

Finally, the Communication provides a list of the specific articles for each application that the ECHR will examine, in light of the facts of each case, for violations by the State. The Keywords are provided as an aid to searching HUDOC for relevant ECHR case-law.

The texts of the Convention articles may be found at the following ECHR web site:

https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

See pages 7 through 11 for Articles 3, 5, 6, and 8.

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Old 11th May 2022, 07:18 PM   #2502
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
To refute the argument of the Guilters that police never commit crimes or engage in misconduct, this article about the number of police officers relieved of police duties during investigations of misconduct, or not relieved of duties although clearly involved in misconduct, in a major US city, is of interest:
My memory is a bit different, but I won't swear as to its accuracy.

Mignini himself once made the argument that the 2015 exoneration by Cassazione was flawed partly because of the shear number of individual judges who had previously voted to convict. These had included the Massei court, the Nencini court as well as the 2013 Cassazione Cheffei panel.

As such the guilters copied the argument. As such, my memory is that guilters cited that 'argument' far more often than that police and courts in Italy can and would never err. Aside from the main guilter left in this thread, there were few who tried to make that argument.

BTW - a few nights ago I went to TJMK, Pete seems to have pivoted to the Heard/Depp civil trial. Maybe he's moved on.....
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Old 11th May 2022, 10:36 PM   #2503
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
My memory is a bit different, but I won't swear as to its accuracy.

Mignini himself once made the argument that the 2015 exoneration by Cassazione was flawed partly because of the shear number of individual judges who had previously voted to convict. These had included the Massei court, the Nencini court as well as the 2013 Cassazione Cheffei panel.

As such the guilters copied the argument. As such, my memory is that guilters cited that 'argument' far more often than that police and courts in Italy can and would never err. Aside from the main guilter left in this thread, there were few who tried to make that argument.

BTW - a few nights ago I went to TJMK, Pete seems to have pivoted to the Heard/Depp civil trial. Maybe he's moved on.....
Of course, the Chieffi CSC panel did not convict on the murder/rape charges, but referred the case with a Motivation Report that strongly suggested that the referral court should convict.

I don't have any statistics for how many Guilters argued that the police did not violate laws in the Knox-Sollecito case because police don't ever do that, and have no reason(s) to ever violate laws. Certainly, that has been one of the arguments used in posts on this thread.
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Old 11th May 2022, 11:47 PM   #2504
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
My memory is a bit different, but I won't swear as to its accuracy.

Mignini himself once made the argument that the 2015 exoneration by Cassazione was flawed partly because of the shear number of individual judges who had previously voted to convict. These had included the Massei court, the Nencini court as well as the 2013 Cassazione Cheffei panel.

As such the guilters copied the argument. As such, my memory is that guilters cited that 'argument' far more often than that police and courts in Italy can and would never err. Aside from the main guilter left in this thread, there were few who tried to make that argument.

BTW - a few nights ago I went to TJMK, Pete seems to have pivoted to the Heard/Depp civil trial. Maybe he's moved on.....
True Justice for Amber or Johnny?
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Old 14th May 2022, 07:43 AM   #2505
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
To refute the argument of the Guilters that police never commit crimes or engage in misconduct, this article about the number of police officers relieved of police duties during investigations of misconduct, or not relieved of duties although clearly involved in misconduct, in a major US city, is of interest:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/investiga...-show/2829358/

Some officers clearly have allegedly committed misconduct but remain on the force, and therefore the prosecutor's office will not call them to testify against alleged criminals:
The notion used by PGP that all police/prosecutors are honest, ethical and would never engage in misconduct is useful for several reasons :-

1) If all police/prosecutors are ethical, PGP can argued that they would never frame innocent people for crimes and would only prosecute suspects if they had valid reasons and a solid case. Vixen has argued police/prosecutors would have no wish to frame Amanda and Raffaele for a crime they didn't commit.

2) If police/prosecutors have to resort to corrupt acts such as using coerced confessions, destroying evidence, lying and suppressing evidence, this indicates police/prosecutors have a weak case, a lack of evidence and the facts don't support the case for guilt. We saw this with Amanda and Raffaele where the police/prosecution committed numerous corrupt acts. For instance, Stefanoni had to lie about the negative TMB as this showed the luminol prints couldn't have made in blood. Relying on dirty tactics such as lying to Amanda she had HIV, indicated the police/prosecution had a lack of evidence. If the as PGP claim police/prosecutors never engage in corrupt acts or misconduct, this indicates the police/prosecution have a solid case and wouldn't need to resort to the corrupt practices I described previously.

3) Vixen argues Amanda had no valid case with the ECHR for violation of rights during the interrogation. The notion police/prosecutors are always ethical and would never violate the rights of suspects during interrogations supports this view.
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Old 15th May 2022, 11:16 AM   #2506
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Another wrongfully convicted person, gone too soon. David Milgaard.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_...rd?wprov=sfla1

Similarities with this case? Milgaard was suspected because police were in a hurry to "solve" a high-profile case. Milgaard turned himself in, thinking the best thing was to cooperate, that the truth would be obvious.

Twenty-three years later, he was exonerated. So perhaps Italy should be congratulated for taking only 8 years to exonerate Sollecito and Knox.
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Old 15th May 2022, 07:08 PM   #2507
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Originally Posted by Welshman View Post
The notion used by PGP that all police/prosecutors are honest, ethical and would never engage in misconduct is useful for several reasons :-

1) If all police/prosecutors are ethical, PGP can argued that they would never frame innocent people for crimes and would only prosecute suspects if they had valid reasons and a solid case. Vixen has argued police/prosecutors would have no wish to frame Amanda and Raffaele for a crime they didn't commit.
David Milgaard's 1969 conviction for the rape and murder of Gail Miller, was predicated upon:
1) Albert Cadrain's testimony that Milgaard had been behaving suspiciously the morning of the murder, and that he'd had blood on him. Cadrain was later revealed to be a police informant who got $2,000 for those tips, which just so happened to be the "break" police needed to narrow down 160 suspects.

2) Despite Milgaard's friends, Wilson & John, giving Milgaard an alibi, police kept bringing the pair back for 'additional interviews'. Eventually both changed their stories 180 degrees.

3) Despite isolating 160 possible suspects, police ignored Larry Fisher, a renter in Albert Cadrain's basement, a known serial rapist.

4) At trial, one of Milgaard's friends refused to say, under oath, that she had seen Milgaard stab Miller. However, her police statement where she said she'd seen the stabbing, was read into the record and accepted as evidence.

5) Before his arrest, a 'high' Milgaard at a party responded to teasing that he was a suspect, by simulating how he'd done it. Afterwards he had no memory of doing this distasteful thing, but it played big at trial.

6) In 1980, Fisher's ex-wife went to police, fearing that Larry had killed Gail Miller. The police report found her credible, yet despite Fisher's convictions in 1971 as well as 1980, police did not follow up. The police report conceded, though, "The wrong person might be in prison."

7) Even though Fisher was eventually convicted of Miller's murder, Milgaard was not released until after TWO ministerial reviews, where finally the Supreme Court of Canada in 1992 ordered another trial. The Crown refused to retry Milgaard.
The issue is not really that police and courts do not make mistakes, the issue is that police and courts move glacially in correcting them.

Just like in the Soilecito/Knox exonerations. Even when police had exculpatory evidence in their possession, they are reluctant to move on it.
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Old 15th May 2022, 10:48 PM   #2508
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
David Milgaard's 1969 conviction for the rape and murder of Gail Miller, was predicated upon:
1) Albert Cadrain's testimony that Milgaard had been behaving suspiciously the morning of the murder, and that he'd had blood on him. Cadrain was later revealed to be a police informant who got $2,000 for those tips, which just so happened to be the "break" police needed to narrow down 160 suspects.

2) Despite Milgaard's friends, Wilson & John, giving Milgaard an alibi, police kept bringing the pair back for 'additional interviews'. Eventually both changed their stories 180 degrees.

3) Despite isolating 160 possible suspects, police ignored Larry Fisher, a renter in Albert Cadrain's basement, a known serial rapist.

4) At trial, one of Milgaard's friends refused to say, under oath, that she had seen Milgaard stab Miller. However, her police statement where she said she'd seen the stabbing, was read into the record and accepted as evidence.

5) Before his arrest, a 'high' Milgaard at a party responded to teasing that he was a suspect, by simulating how he'd done it. Afterwards he had no memory of doing this distasteful thing, but it played big at trial.

6) In 1980, Fisher's ex-wife went to police, fearing that Larry had killed Gail Miller. The police report found her credible, yet despite Fisher's convictions in 1971 as well as 1980, police did not follow up. The police report conceded, though, "The wrong person might be in prison."

7) Even though Fisher was eventually convicted of Miller's murder, Milgaard was not released until after TWO ministerial reviews, where finally the Supreme Court of Canada in 1992 ordered another trial. The Crown refused to retry Milgaard.
The issue is not really that police and courts do not make mistakes, the issue is that police and courts move glacially in correcting them.

Just like in the Soilecito/Knox exonerations. Even when police had exculpatory evidence in their possession, they are reluctant to move on it.
Did the police and/or prosecution suborn perjury in the case against Milgaard? Or commit any other criminal offense or official misconduct in the case?

Is suborning perjury a criminal offense in the relevant jurisdiction? Was there some other apparent misconduct that may have been a criminal offense?

If so, was part of the delay related to gaining immunity for the police and/or prosecutor, for example, through the statute of limitations?

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Old 15th May 2022, 11:15 PM   #2509
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
Did the police and/or prosecution suborn perjury in the case against Milgaard? Or commit any other criminal offense or official misconduct in the case?

Is suborning perjury a criminal offense in the relevant jurisdiction? Was there some other apparent misconduct that may have been a criminal offense?

If so, was part of the delay related to gaining immunity for the police and/or prosecutor, for example, through the statute of limitations?
I don't know the answers to these questions. I do know that when Larry Fisher's wife came forward, the system had all it needed to free Milgaard. For the Saskatoon police to miss Fisher in 1969 speaks to something....

..... maybe he,too, had been an informant and got a pass with regard to suspicion. Many critics of the way that the Perugian authorities bungled the Kercher investigation also claimed that Guede had similarly been an informant.
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Old 16th May 2022, 06:03 AM   #2510
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
I don't know the answers to these questions. I do know that when Larry Fisher's wife came forward, the system had all it needed to free Milgaard. For the Saskatoon police to miss Fisher in 1969 speaks to something....

..... maybe he,too, had been an informant and got a pass with regard to suspicion. Many critics of the way that the Perugian authorities bungled the Kercher investigation also claimed that Guede had similarly been an informant.
But how likely is it that Guede or Fisher was an informant, compared to the need of the police and prosecutor to protect the police by providing them with impunity for their apparently unlawful criminal actions in conducting interrogations or questionings of unacknowledged suspects (Knox and Sollecito) or witnesses (in the Milgaard case

In the Michael Morton case, he was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife while the Texas authorities suppressed evidence showing that the murder was committed by another man, Mark Norwood. Was Norwood a police informant, or were the Texas authorities covering up their incompetence and wrongful (illegal) conduct? See:

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/ex...px?caseid=3834

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Old 16th May 2022, 10:56 AM   #2511
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Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
But how likely is it that Guede or Fisher was an informant, compared to the need of the police and prosecutor to protect the police by providing them with impunity for their apparently unlawful criminal actions in conducting interrogations or questionings of unacknowledged suspects (Knox and Sollecito) or witnesses (in the Milgaard case
Give me the algorithm and I'll calculate it. Yet, in the Milgaard case, there is little data, except that the Saskatoon police took the word of a man who fingered Milgaard, while the real killer was renting his basement. Yet the police claimed to have had 160 suspects, and the real killer, renting the basement of the police informant, was not one of them.

I'm not sure how to calculate 'need' for the police to do anything, much less assign a value to it. It could have been good old fashioned incompetence. But I don't know, not really.
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Old 16th May 2022, 03:08 PM   #2512
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
Give me the algorithm and I'll calculate it. Yet, in the Milgaard case, there is little data, except that the Saskatoon police took the word of a man who fingered Milgaard, while the real killer was renting his basement. Yet the police claimed to have had 160 suspects, and the real killer, renting the basement of the police informant, was not one of them.

I'm not sure how to calculate 'need' for the police to do anything, much less assign a value to it. It could have been good old fashioned incompetence. But I don't know, not really.
This is the point.

We should be open-minded about whether apparent police "mistakes" are due to incompetence, intentional misconduct, or some combination of the two.

A pattern of seeming incompetence may (or may not) be a cover-up for intentional misconduct. And a pattern of intentional misconduct may include one or more incompetent acts or be carried out incompetently.
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Old 17th May 2022, 12:34 AM   #2513
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Incompetency can often be the cause of intentional misconduct later.
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Old 17th May 2022, 08:00 AM   #2514
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
Incompetency can often be the cause of intentional misconduct later.
If you mean that police or prosecutor may choose to commit intentional misconduct to cover-up previous incompetent behavior, I agree.

Incompetence or lack of training could cause misconduct in the sense that a police officer or prosecutor was not aware that the misconduct was unlawful. However, this kind of "unintentional" misconduct probably did not occur in the Knox - Sollecito case. One reason for believing "unintentional" misconduct did not was that the misconduct was structured to produce a particular result: false evidence to be used against Knox and/or Sollecito.
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Old 19th May 2022, 08:06 AM   #2515
Numbers
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Because Knox and Sollecito were finally, definitively, and irreversibly acquitted on the murder/rape charges by the Marasca CSC panel, the ECHR may never judge some of the judicial misconduct by the Italian courts that provisionally convicted them on those charges. Possibly the ECHR will tangentially examine some aspects of the judicial misconduct in the case Sollecito v. Italy.

To gain an understanding of the ECHR's scope of review of judicial actions by a CoE member state, one must therefore turn to other cases or to the ECHR's summaries of its case-law. For criminal trials, the case-law summary is Guide on Article 6: Right to a Fair Trial (Criminal Limb); the latest edition is dated 30 April 2022. The case Knox v. Italy is cited twice in the summary, first in the section Access to a Lawyer, Scope (para. 447, p. 82), and second in the section Interpretation, Conditions of interpretation (para. 561, p. 102).

https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/G...iminal_ENG.pdf

To see the level of detail regarding the decisions of domestic courts that fall under the ECHR's scope of review, the recent ECHR Communication to Turkey in the case YALÇINKAYA v. TURKEY 15669/20 may be of interest. The ECHR's questions in this Communication show that in case of a final conviction, the nature of the evidence and the reasoning of the domestic court are subject to ECHR review. Some of this depth of review will possibly be used by the ECHR in the case Sollecito v. Italy, where the issue is not a final conviction but rather a final denial of compensation for allegedly unjust detention.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-208743

Last edited by Numbers; 19th May 2022 at 08:08 AM.
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