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Tags Liverpool incidents , police misconduct charges , UK incidents

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Old 20th September 2012, 09:09 AM   #201
Rolfe
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The underwear thing was a reference to the infamous Amanda Knox thread.

Rolfe.
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Old 20th September 2012, 09:50 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
You cannot read and the evidence is there you cannot read. He is what you said, the key part in bold




He is what I actually said

"Oh and please, no matter what happens to you, never contact the police, or a doctor, or indeed anyone for anything as some of them are bent."

So at no point did I say, that you had said never contact the police. It was on me who said it, not you. I did not put those words into your mouth, you did.
You were implying that never contacting the police was a logical conclusion to be drawn from what I'd written. It wasn't. It was a red herring (strawman argument) a position that you made up for me to hold and then asked me to justify it.

Quote:
If your child is alone and needs help, what do you say to them about going to a police officer?
I'd advise the child to go to a police officer. That, however, is irrelevant to whether, for example, I'd trust a police officer, who had come into my home, not to plant incriminating evidence in it.

Quote:
I agree all economic groups have criminals, I said that I am one of the ones in my group who does not, which clearly recognises others do.
You said "I am in a group within my socioeconomic class who does not commit crime..."

What is the name of this group?

Quote:
Furthermore
I am in a group who is in a group who is less likely to commit crime full stop. It has nothing to do with being closer to power.
Which group are you referring to?
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Old 20th September 2012, 09:57 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
You said "I am in a group within my socioeconomic class who does not commit crime..."

What is the name of this group?



Which group are you referring to?
Not to speak for Nessie, but, imo the "any class law abiding citizen" group.

I think they still exist.
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Old 20th September 2012, 10:40 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Why do you think this? Is it that you like to think it as it makes you feel good? I am not being snarky, as I too incline to this view but I have not the slightest basis for it. OTOH I can think of quite a few instances where I would seriously criticise the police for being slow, stupid or incompetent. They are pretty good at traffic offences and with low hanging fruit but give them anything else and it seems to be a different story.

Example: a client of mine caught a group of its employees in a fraud. There was plenty of evidence and I would have had no problem running a civil claim against these people but that would have cost money and they might not have been able to afford to pay compensation or my costs so ... we involved the police. And the police were slow, stupid and incompetent. My client had to make a formal complaint before they would do anything. Then they piddled around for a while then they lost interest, without bothering to tell my client anything. Useless. And also typical.

So, where does your belief come from?
That belief probably comes from the numerous successful cases submitted by the police, as well as all the other things they do successfully. This and most other posts here are slag off the police (correctly mainly) but that means a skewed view of the police in general.
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Old 20th September 2012, 10:50 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
You were implying that never contacting the police was a logical conclusion to be drawn from what I'd written. It wasn't. It was a red herring (strawman argument) a position that you made up for me to hold and then asked me to justify it.



I'd advise the child to go to a police officer. That, however, is irrelevant to whether, for example, I'd trust a police officer, who had come into my home, not to plant incriminating evidence in it.



You said "I am in a group within my socioeconomic class who does not commit crime..."

What is the name of this group?



Which group are you referring to?
Ah so now I am implying. Do you accept you wrongly claimed I had attributed you to having said something which in fact I had said?

What I did say was a lead up to a question you dodge. Will you treat doctors just like the police, since they have also been involved in cover ups?

My group does not have a name. I think you know that and I think you understand, or I hope you do. I am a law abiding citizen who never comes to the attention of the police in a bad way. There are millions of us covering all socio-economic levels.
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Old 20th September 2012, 01:57 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Go to a court and watch whats happening and the level of evidence for cases. People who think there is widespread fitting up need to evidence that.
You were the one who made the claim, not me. You assert that cops going after the wrong person and fitting them up is "very, very rare". This is in the teeth of a series of well-publicised cases highlighted here by Rolfe and others.

Maybe the basis of your assertion is the belief that the only times it has ever happened are exactly the ones we know about. I don't think this belief is very scientific.

As for the level of evidence, one of the striking things about the cases we do know about is how easily the burden of proof becomes reversed. "Innocent until proved guilty" is an empty slogan.

Last edited by Antony; 20th September 2012 at 02:04 PM. Reason: added last para
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:38 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
You were the one who made the claim, not me. You assert that cops going after the wrong person and fitting them up is "very, very rare". This is in the teeth of a series of well-publicised cases highlighted here by Rolfe and others.
Which are for all practical purposes statistically insignificant. The reason to assume it isn't widespread is that in most cases there is no point. For the most part criminals really aren't that smart with the result that the amount of effort needed to catch the right person is somewhat less than that needed to fit someone up. Throw in traffic offences which at this point are tending towards being at least semi-automated we reach the point where the vast bulk of cases delt with even by an actively malicious police force are going to be delt with legitimately.
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:58 PM   #208
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But Geni, I don't see anyone talking about an actively malicious police force. At least, not in the sense of police deliberately fitting up people despite knowing them to be innocent. I'm not sure I know of a single case of that. We're talking about police getting the wrong end of the stick, developing a lively suspicion of the wrong person, and tunnel vision, confirmation bias and groupthink doing the rest.

For me, the most reassuring thing recently was Chris Jefferies being released without charge. However, if they hadn't found the evidence leading to Tabak, I wonder if it would have turned out so well for Jefferies.

As an aside though, I think there have been and possibly still are, malicious police who are willing to bend and fabricate evidence to implicate the person they have already decided is guilty. These guys need to be rooted out.

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Old 20th September 2012, 06:47 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
You were the one who made the claim, not me. You assert that cops going after the wrong person and fitting them up is "very, very rare". This is in the teeth of a series of well-publicised cases highlighted here by Rolfe and others.

Maybe the basis of your assertion is the belief that the only times it has ever happened are exactly the ones we know about. I don't think this belief is very scientific.

As for the level of evidence, one of the striking things about the cases we do know about is how easily the burden of proof becomes reversed. "Innocent until proved guilty" is an empty slogan.
I say such cases are very very rare as there are hundreds of thousands of cases every year and so few are found to have fallen foul of the botched enquiry Rolfe speaks of.
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Old 20th September 2012, 06:50 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
..... We're talking about police getting the wrong end of the stick, developing a lively suspicion of the wrong person, and tunnel vision, confirmation bias and groupthink doing the rest.

....

Rolfe.
When you put it that way I do think you have made a very good point. For me the problem expands if it is also found that the rest of the criminal justice system goes along with such, rather than acts as a check against it.
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Old 20th September 2012, 11:51 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I say such cases are very very rare as there are hundreds of thousands of cases every year and so few are found to have fallen foul of the botched enquiry Rolfe speaks of.
You missed the point I was making. If you base your view on the cases that have been found out, and conclude from that there is no issue with unacknowledged cases, then your thinking is a bit circular.

What tells me that the problem is far greater than the proven cases, is that they show a pattern of police behaviour, and it is unreasonable to assume that this pattern does not exist potentially in a large number of other cases.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:07 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
What tells me that the problem is far greater than the proven cases, is that they show a pattern of police behaviour, and it is unreasonable to assume that this pattern does not exist potentially in a large number of other cases.
What evidence do you present for this argument?
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:30 AM   #213
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Interesting

Quote:
Conduct to be investigated
The SRA is to investigate the role and conduct of solicitors involved in legal proceedings after the Hillsborough disaster. It said it has considered last week's report by the Hillsborough Independent Panel and decided to launch an inquiry. The SRA has not received any complaints but it said the issues from the report impact on public confidence in the legal*profession and so should be investigated.
Yorkshire Post, Page: 5** The Press & Journal, Page: 21
The SRA is the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:39 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
That belief probably comes from the numerous successful cases submitted by the police, as well as all the other things they do successfully. This and most other posts here are slag off the police (correctly mainly) but that means a skewed view of the police in general.
What I don't get is how you or anyone knows what the 'correct' view is that enables you to describe a divergent view as 'skewed'. Like you, probably, I only have a collection of personal experiences and knowledge derived from news stories, friends and acquiantances. How are we to extract a reasonably well- approximated view of the cops from that? I bet the Gestapo also solved cases efficiently sometimes and were probably nice to small children at others too

Edit - we could take the Hillsborough disaster (or maybe the Stephen Laurence Inquiry - 'institutionally racist') as a fair test since it involved a sizeable chunk of an entire police force and all ranks therein and cannot be regarded as anecdotal. A test that SYP comprehensively failed at many levels, including the one which required them not to kill people unlawfully or the other one which indicated that lying abiut it afterwards might not be the right thing to do. So, I'm still struggling with where you get your view from. It looks complacent to me.

Last edited by anglolawyer; 21st September 2012 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 21st September 2012, 01:29 AM   #215
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I think if one has repeated exposure to the daily procession of bread-and-butter cases where not-very-bright lawbreakers have been caught more or less bang to rights, one's view is likely to be skewed in the opposite direction. I wouldn't dispute that the vast majority of such cases are not problematic, or that these make up the bulk of the workload of the courts.

I have driven up the A9 on numerous occasions. I have never had an accident, and I don't think I've even seen an accident on the road. Does that mean I shouldn't be concerned about road safety on the A9? I think not. I read reports of serious accidents on that road with depressing regularity, and I read many articles discussing the problems with the road and the desirability of doing something about it (dual carriageway). Should politicians who are being urged to take this problem seriously just point to the stream of traffic negotiating the road safely every day and say, nonsense, nothing to worry about?

The cases we are referring to are the exception, and I should bloody well hope so, because each one is a howling scandal - the equivalent of a five-vehicle pile-up at the Drumochter Pass with multiple fatalities. It's the height of arrogant complacency to turn away concern about such a pile-up by pointing to the many cars which continue to drive past safely.

At least with the A9, we can be confident that the accidents we're aware of are all there are. With the criminal justice system, we can have no such confidence. When we see repeated examples of cases like Sion Jenkins, Shirley McKie, Barry George and Sally Clark, and repeated evidence of institutionalised wrongdoing such as the Stephen Laurence affair, Hillsborough and the Birmingham Six, it seems to me to be the height of complacency to imagine that the ones which have been exposed are all their are. It's a racing certainty that there are others which have not yet seen the light of day. I mention Lockerbie as merely one in that category.

Supposing there were twice the number of accidents on the A9 as we actually know about. That still means most cars negotiate the road safely enough. But it hardly suggests we shouldn't be concerned about the road, or be demanding that the politicians do something about it.

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Old 21st September 2012, 02:13 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think if one has repeated exposure to the daily procession of bread-and-butter cases where not-very-bright lawbreakers have been caught more or less bang to rights, one's view is likely to be skewed in the opposite direction. I wouldn't dispute that the vast majority of such cases are not problematic, or that these make up the bulk of the workload of the courts.

I have driven up the A9 on numerous occasions. I have never had an accident, and I don't think I've even seen an accident on the road. Does that mean I shouldn't be concerned about road safety on the A9? I think not. I read reports of serious accidents on that road with depressing regularity, and I read many articles discussing the problems with the road and the desirability of doing something about it (dual carriageway). Should politicians who are being urged to take this problem seriously just point to the stream of traffic negotiating the road safely every day and say, nonsense, nothing to worry about?

The cases we are referring to are the exception, and I should bloody well hope so, because each one is a howling scandal - the equivalent of a five-vehicle pile-up at the Drumochter Pass with multiple fatalities. It's the height of arrogant complacency to turn away concern about such a pile-up by pointing to the many cars which continue to drive past safely.

At least with the A9, we can be confident that the accidents we're aware of are all there are. With the criminal justice system, we can have no such confidence. When we see repeated examples of cases like Sion Jenkins, Shirley McKie, Barry George and Sally Clark, and repeated evidence of institutionalised wrongdoing such as the Stephen Laurence affair, Hillsborough and the Birmingham Six, it seems to me to be the height of complacency to imagine that the ones which have been exposed are all their are. It's a racing certainty that there are others which have not yet seen the light of day. I mention Lockerbie as merely one in that category.

Supposing there were twice the number of accidents on the A9 as we actually know about. That still means most cars negotiate the road safely enough. But it hardly suggests we shouldn't be concerned about the road, or be demanding that the politicians do something about it.

Rolfe.
I would put it differently. The cases we are discussing are not so much to be seen as exceptional but rather as involving sets of facts and circumstances which test whether the presumed values of the institution in question (truth, justice, etc.) can withstand pressure. Run of the mill cases which solve themselves due to the criminal's stupidity obviously pose no such test and reveal nothing much about the organisation except, one hopes, a basic level of competence (I have a decent collection of anecdotes and impressions which suggest otherwise, actually).

Can someone please point to an instance of such a severe test as Hillsborough, Stephen Laurence, De Menezes etc where integrity has been tested under extreme conditions and the cops have passed with flying colours? And don't try the current enquiry into phone hacking because that one goes entirely the other way, with the cops only being stirred into action after being exposed as too cosy with the press.
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Old 21st September 2012, 02:17 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
When you put it that way I do think you have made a very good point. For me the problem expands if it is also found that the rest of the criminal justice system goes along with such, rather than acts as a check against it.

I think that second sentence also encapsulates a real problem. We all know about "innocent until proven guilty", but it doesn't always work like that.

The police who get the wrong guy are, I submit, sincere in their belief that they've nailed the perpetrator. Not only that, they believe that they have figured out this puzzle by their own intelligence and quick-wittedness, and got the right answer. That is an extraordinarily difficult mindset to turn around. It also makes for a very persuasive advocacy.

The police narrative is the one presented to the PF (or whatever the equivalent is in England). It's sincere, and it's disinterested. Unless there are very clear problems with it, it's going to be persuasive. If it's accepted, the Crown is then enlisted on the side of the police case. The PF then turns his or her attention to the matter of making the case.

The PF is now also sincere, and disinterested. And intent on doing her job, which is to present the case for the prosecution as compellingly as she can manage. That's what the bench or the jury get to see. A respectable member of the legal profession sincerely presenting a case they have been convinced of by fine upstanding police officers.

The defence are, literally, on the defensive from the get-go. Everybody knows about the taxi-rank principle. Everybody knows even the most blatantly guilty criminal is entitled to a defence. Everybody knows that defence advocates are reaching to find some way to wriggle their client out of a very deep hole, more often than not. Is the bench, or the jury, going to be listening to this on the assumption that it's the defence case which is correct unless the prosecution do an absolutely watertight job? Not in my experience.

I've acted as an expert witness in numerous animal welfare cases, including some where the defendant had done nothing wrong but had been targeted by an over-zealous RSPCA officer. The bench attitude is pretty much always to come from the position that the defence have to prove innocence. Why on earth would these caring, respectable professionals have charged you with an offence unless you'd done something pretty reprehensible? Even if the prosecution makes accusations which are actually quite outrageous, the bench takes them absolutely seriously.

Magistrates can be the absolute worst in this respect. A lethal combination of amateurism and respectability. And my Dad was a JP. I don't exactly absolve sheriffs either, though clearly they're not amateurs. (I think I said earlier that Bob Black, who was a sheriff, said it took the Lockerbie case to remove the scales from his eyes, and see what could really go on, and realise that he too had been guilty of assuming the police case was well-founded unless proven otherwise.)

Juries are hellish unpredictable, but I think especially likely to be swayed by expert witness testimony. If the prosecution get the right hired gun (like Meadow or Southall) to say the right thing, the defendant is frequently toast. I know it takes an unusual expert witness to tell the prosecution to go and raffle itself, because the proposition they want to present is untenable. Far too often, they'll go away and try to figure out some way to make the point they've been asked to make. Look at what Nicholl did in the Hillsborough affair. And if the expert does tell the cops their proposition cannot be supported, what then? Why, the chances are they'll just shop around till they find someone who will tell it like they want to hear it - as they did with the Sion Jenkins case, and got Southall. Bear in mind that appearing as an expert witness is very lucrative.

Bear in mind that Sion Jenkins and Sally Clark were both found guilty by juries. More than once (several times in the case of Jenkins). Both cases were absolutely ludicrous. The former because there was no motive and next-to-no opportunity and no bloody evidence either. The latter because there was no evidence a crime had been committed at all. Meadow even put forward the principle, that if a woman lost more than one baby to "cot death", this was murder "unless proven otherwise". These juries thought the police must know what they were doing, and I suspect the bench thought so too. How wrong can you get?

Lives have been ruined by this process. Sally Clark's was, utterly. So was Stefan Kiszko's. Shirley McKie lost her career. Sion Jenkins also lost his career. He seems to be recovering, though he's a very different person from the school headmaster who came home one spring afternoon to find his beloved foster-daughter lying with her head bashed in. Barry George was an anti-social lowlife in the first place, and probably still is, but that still doesn't excuse what was done to him. I don't know what happened to Paul Esslemont.

It's outrageous to claim we shouldn't be concerned about a system that can do this to people, just because it can catch the burglar who was caught on CCTV camera and found with the swag in his possession, and prosecute him successfully more often than not.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st September 2012, 02:58 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Ah so now I am implying. Do you accept you wrongly claimed I had attributed you to having said something which in fact I had said?
No, I don't accept that. Instead of addressing the argument I presented, that it is irrational to trust the police, you instead invented a different argument to address - "Never contact the police".


Quote:
What I did say was a lead up to a question you dodge. Will you treat doctors just like the police, since they have also been involved in cover ups?
I didn't dodge it. Your question was a development of your strawman argument about never contacting the police, which wasn't my position, but one you invented, presumably because such an extreme position is easier to argue against than my actual position, which is one of not trusting the police. I don't address strawman arguments.

However, the answer to your question is yes.

Quote:
My group does not have a name. I think you know that and I think you understand, or I hope you do. I am a law abiding citizen who never comes to the attention of the police in a bad way. There are millions of us covering all socio-economic levels.
So you dodged the issue that police criminality and corruption impacts different socio-economic classes differently.
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:01 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I would put it differently. The cases we are discussing are not so much to be seen as exceptional but rather as involving sets of facts and circumstances which test whether the presumed values of the institution in question (truth, justice, etc.) can withstand pressure. Run of the mill cases which solve themselves due to the criminal's stupidity obviously pose no such test and reveal nothing much about the organisation except, one hopes, a basic level of competence (I have a decent collection of anecdotes and impressions which suggest otherwise, actually).

Can someone please point to an instance of such a severe test as Hillsborough, Stephen Laurence, De Menezes etc where integrity has been tested under extreme conditions and the cops have passed with flying colours? And don't try the current enquiry into phone hacking because that one goes entirely the other way, with the cops only being stirred into action after being exposed as too cosy with the press.

Thank you for that perspective. I think that articulates the underlying reason for the concern. As you say, it's not really relevant that the police force can handle the ordinary daily workload of simple cases with acceptable competence. Assuming they can, that is. It's about how the system responds to the difficult cases and the extreme situations. And in that context it does not look good.

Even the Chris Jefferies case that I mentioned earlier as being reassuring, isn't really. I suspect Jefferies was taken into custody for no good reason other than being extremely eccentric in the neighbourhood of a crime. However, even if taking him into custody was justified, what happened next wasn't. The reason he was libelled to hell and back by the gutter press was that the police themselves leaked all that information to them, and set them on uncovering even more.

What do we know about Vincent Tabak? Not an awful lot in comparison, because the police realised they'd behaved outrageously regarding Jefferies, and didn't release anything about the guy who actually did it!

So maybe it's reassuring that they didn't go the whole hog against Jefferies, but released him without charge to claim substantial damages. On the other hand, if they hadn't found the evidence leading to Tabak, I wonder what would have happened. Just because they didn't do what was done in the Meredith Kercher case in Italy, or that rape case in the USA where they just added each suspect that came up rather than switching their focus, isn't really a huge endorsement.

You're right. I can't think of a single case where police competence or integrity has been called into question, where the subsequent inquiry found they were without substantial fault. And frankly, there's another one brewing up in Scotland, though God knows how long we'll have to fight before we actually get the desperately-needed independent inquiry.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:09 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Interesting


The SRA is the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
It'd be nice if something similar happened for the medical witnesses.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
<snip>
Juries are hellish unpredictable, but I think especially likely to be swayed by expert witness testimony. If the prosecution get the right hired gun (like Meadow or Southall) to say the right thing, the defendant is frequently toast. I know it takes an unusual expert witness to tell the prosecution to go and raffle itself, because the proposition they want to present is untenable. Far too often, they'll go away and try to figure out some way to make the point they've been asked to make. Look at what Nicholl did in the Hillsborough affair. And if the expert does tell the cops their proposition cannot be supported, what then? Why, the chances are they'll just shop around till they find someone who will tell it like they want to hear it - as they did with the Sion Jenkins case, and got Southall. Bear in mind that appearing as an expert witness is very lucrative.

Bear in mind that Sion Jenkins and Sally Clark were both found guilty by juries. More than once (several times in the case of Jenkins). Both cases were absolutely ludicrous. The former because there was no motive and next-to-no opportunity and no bloody evidence either. The latter because there was no evidence a crime had been committed at all. Meadow even put forward the principle, that if a woman lost more than one baby to "cot death", this was murder "unless proven otherwise". These juries thought the police must know what they were doing, and I suspect the bench thought so too. How wrong can you get?

Lives have been ruined by this process. Sally Clark's was, utterly. So was Stefan Kiszko's. Shirley McKie lost her career. Sion Jenkins also lost his career. He seems to be recovering, though he's a very different person from the school headmaster who came home one spring afternoon to find his beloved foster-daughter lying with her head bashed in. Barry George was an anti-social lowlife in the first place, and probably still is, but that still doesn't excuse what was done to him. I don't know what happened to Paul Esslemont.
Another issue with expert evidence is the acceptance by the defense of the validity of prosecution evidence and the inability to properly verify it. For example in the Lindy Chamberlain case the blood evidence couldn't be cross-checked as the samples had been destroyed and several experts gave testimony that was subsequently found to be utterly wrong.
As far back as Crippen defective expert evidence was causing miscarriages of justice, aided by suppression of evidence.
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Old 21st September 2012, 04:12 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
It'd be nice if something similar happened for the medical witnesses.

It is actually being addressed. But I don't know that it's really effective. Medical experts can be arrogant bastards.

Rolfe.
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Old 21st September 2012, 10:02 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
What evidence do you present for this argument?
Sorry? You need evidence for statements of fact, not for arguments based on known facts and sound reasoning. I am responding to Nessie's statement of fact, that it's "very, very rare" for police to fit up the wrong person for a crime.

His claim is (a) subjective and (b) not supported by evidence. My point is that the pattern of behaviour in the cases we do know about suggests the opposite. The evidence is in the known cases.
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Old 21st September 2012, 10:13 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
Sorry? You need evidence for statements of fact, not for arguments based on known facts and sound reasoning. I am responding to Nessie's statement of fact, that it's "very, very rare" for police to fit up the wrong person for a crime.

His claim is (a) subjective and (b) not supported by evidence. My point is that the pattern of behaviour in the cases we do know about suggests the opposite. The evidence is in the known cases.
OK, we will just take your word for it.

The number of cases that involve the police "fitting up" innocent people is as Geni says, statistically insignificant.

If you wish to claim that is is not, then you need to provide evidence of this widespread pattern of police behaviour.
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Old 21st September 2012, 11:14 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
OK, we will just take your word for it.
Sarcasm. Tell me why we should take Nessie's word for it, that police misconduct is "very, very rare". That was the original claim in this exchange of posts.
Quote:
The number of cases that involve the police "fitting up" innocent people is as Geni says, statistically insignificant.
"What evidence do you present for this argument?"

And it's no good trotting out the hundreds of thousands of cases that (supposedly) the police clear up in good faith. It's apples and oranges - among the high-profile serious cases that we're talking about, the police record is actually extremely poor.
Quote:
If you wish to claim that is is not, then you need to provide evidence of this widespread pattern of police behaviour.
The evidence is there; it's in each of the cases that have been cited in this thread: Sion Jenkins, Barry George, the Guildford Four, Broadwater Farm - I would add Colin Stagg, a case that I don't think has been mentioned here. Then there are the cases where the police didn't even have a crime to solve: Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles de Menezes, and the Hillsborough disaster where we know that there was lying at the institutional level.

All of this "very, very rare", "statistically insignificant" and such is just hand-waving by people who don't want to engage with the real arguments.
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Old 21st September 2012, 11:26 AM   #225
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Antony, I agree that there have been cases of institutional lying and shoddy police work.

Yes, I agree that measures need to be taken that prevent this behaviour.

The number of known cases in comparison to the broader picture is statistically small, and to even suggest that the police deliberately "fitted someone up" in all of these cases is unreasonable.

There may well be more high profile cases waiting to be uncovered.
However, you cannot state as a fact that there are many more and statistically significant.

And then on top of it, apportion all of the blame to the police.
For that you need evidence.

ETA: and yes, I agree that Nessie should remove one very from his statement.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:29 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

.....

It's outrageous to claim we shouldn't be concerned about a system that can do this to people, just because it can catch the burglar who was caught on CCTV camera and found with the swag in his possession, and prosecute him successfully more often than not.

Rolfe.
I don't think anyone is claiming that.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:32 PM   #227
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That's good to know.

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Old 21st September 2012, 12:33 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
No, I don't accept that. Instead of addressing the argument I presented, that it is irrational to trust the police, you instead invented a different argument to address - "Never contact the police".




I didn't dodge it. Your question was a development of your strawman argument about never contacting the police, which wasn't my position, but one you invented, presumably because such an extreme position is easier to argue against than my actual position, which is one of not trusting the police. I don't address strawman arguments.

However, the answer to your question is yes.



So you dodged the issue that police criminality and corruption impacts different socio-economic classes differently.
Well we will just have to agree to disagree, but fact is you misread what I said and thought I was attributing what I said to you.

I did suspect that you do not trust others for the same reason.

I dodged no issue as I accepted I was in a group that has less contact with the police than others do. So obviously I recognise others have more contact with the police. I just did not think you would need that spelled out to understand it.
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Old 21st September 2012, 12:37 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post

.....

You're right. I can't think of a single case where police competence or integrity has been called into question, where the subsequent inquiry found they were without substantial fault. And frankly, there's another one brewing up in Scotland, though God knows how long we'll have to fight before we actually get the desperately-needed independent inquiry.

Rolfe.
It is an interesting point, but how many enquiries do you get into anything that appears to have gone without any great problems and no one is complaining?

You would need a group who dip sample cases to double check them and maybe that is one way of dealing with this issue.
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Old 21st September 2012, 02:55 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
However, you cannot state as a fact that there are many more and statistically significant.
This is known as "banging one's head against a brick wall".

Who is stating something as a fact, here? For at least the third time, another poster (Nessie) claimed - in the teeth of a series of incidents suggesting the opposite - that it was "very, very rare" that police fit up innocent suspects. It was me who asked how he can make this claim, and I added my reasons for believing that known cases suggest the opposite.

Let's just reflect on this: Nessie stated his conclusion as a fact, without anything to support it. I haven't said anything stronger than that the evidence suggests the opposite conclusion - and with considerably more justification than Nessie's assertion.

You can bleat "statistically insignificant" all you like, our evidence is still considerably stronger than your evidence - and, in addition, the burden of evidence was on you in the first place.
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:33 PM   #231
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Old 21st September 2012, 08:02 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It is an interesting point, but how many enquiries do you get into anything that appears to have gone without any great problems and no one is complaining?

You would need a group who dip sample cases to double check them and maybe that is one way of dealing with this issue.
How about instances of the police exposing corruption within their own ranks without external pressure? The entire Met seems to have allowed itself to become infested with corrupt relationships with the press until the fact Millie Dowler's phone was hacked was exposed to public view and until that news broke the cops were resolutely downplaying the whole thing with senior officers taking revolving door jobs writing for the Murdoch press and engaging journalists as part time PR consultants.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 04:08 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It is an interesting point, but how many enquiries do you get into anything that appears to have gone without any great problems and no one is complaining?
Would you like to name some such instances? What I'd like to know about is a high-profile case, equivalent to the Guildford and Birmingham pub bombings, the Broadwater Farm murder, the Madeleine McCann abduction (not UK police at fault here), the Jill Dando murder - where they nailed the actual culprit(s), instead of selecting a suspect for arbitrary reasons and getting him convicted on spurious evidence.

And I mean one where they solved the crime with genuine detective work starting from crime scene traces and witness reports; not one like the Raoul Moat shooting of PC David Rathband where the answer was handed to them on a plate. I can't think of one (but maybe I've got a jaundiced view).

What it looks like from where I'm sitting is: high-profile case => police cock-up => miscarriage of justice.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 04:20 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
Would you like to name some such instances? What I'd like to know about is a high-profile case, equivalent to the Guildford and Birmingham pub bombings, the Broadwater Farm murder, the Madeleine McCann abduction (not UK police at fault here), the Jill Dando murder - where they nailed the actual culprit(s), instead of selecting a suspect for arbitrary reasons and getting him convicted on spurious evidence.

And I mean one where they solved the crime with genuine detective work starting from crime scene traces and witness reports; not one like the Raoul Moat shooting of PC David Rathband where the answer was handed to them on a plate. I can't think of one (but maybe I've got a jaundiced view).

What it looks like from where I'm sitting is: high-profile case => police cock-up => miscarriage of justice.
While I agree that there are too many that follow the pattern you suggest, there are plenty of high profile cases where they got the right person. Peter Tobin, Ian Huntley etc. I'm not sure where the balance lies because many cases become high profile because they are miscarriages of justice.

Unfortunately, much of the police methods that lead to them catching the right killer are probably the same ones that lead to them doggedly pursuing an innocent person.

Last edited by Professor Yaffle; 22nd September 2012 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 06:31 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
While I agree that there are too many that follow the pattern you suggest, there are plenty of high profile cases where they got the right person. Peter Tobin, Ian Huntley etc. I'm not sure where the balance lies because many cases become high profile because they are miscarriages of justice.

Unfortunately, much of the police methods that lead to them catching the right killer are probably the same ones that lead to them doggedly pursuing an innocent person.
They might have got Huntley sooner had the PCs he was showing round the school insisted he get his keys and unlock the cupboard he had hidden their clothes in rather than let themselves get fobbed off. Ha ha, what about the recent one where the cops searched a small council house four times before they found the body of the schoolgirl they were looking for?
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Old 22nd September 2012, 07:26 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
While I agree that there are too many that follow the pattern you suggest, there are plenty of high profile cases where they got the right person. Peter Tobin, Ian Huntley etc.
This is why I said "not handed to them on a plate". Was there a mystery to solve in these cases? I don't think so. The Agatha Christie detective plot simply doesn't occur in real life, AFAICS - although in many of the wrongful convictions it seems like the police detectives imagine they're Hercule Poirot.
Quote:
I'm not sure where the balance lies because many cases become high profile because they are miscarriages of justice.
Sorry, that's completely wrong. All the cases I cited occurred among massive publicity, and the miscarriages of justice only became recognised years later.
Quote:
Unfortunately, much of the police methods that lead to them catching the right killer are probably the same ones that lead to them doggedly pursuing an innocent person.
Again, untrue. After the Birmingham pub bombing, the police simply went to Liverpool and arrested 6 Irishmen off the boat train. Hardly difficult or high-quality detective work. In the Guildford case, the police arrested 3 young Irish squat dwellers in London (and the English girl-friend of one of them) and battered confessions out of them.

Winston Silcott, convicted and ultimately cleared of killing PC Blakelock on the Broadwater Farm estate, had the misfortune that the killing coincided with him being on bail for an unconnected incident. Barry George, like Silcott, was a dodgy local character known to the police at the time of the Jill Dando murder. Both of these men served time on evidence that was completely risible - but public outrage at the time made the convictions practically inevitable.

In the Rachel Nickell murder case, the police set a "honey trap" using a lonely hearts advert. The policewoman posing as a lonely hearts partner told Colin Stagg that she was turned on by violence, and promised him sex if he confessed to the Nickell murder. Stagg didn't confess, but the police charged him with the crime anyway, and tried to present alleged statements gathered in this way as evidence against him.

After Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal, the police first investigated the man who lived in a nearby house who happened to be English, and then investigated the parents, instead of doing their real job.

What I mean by "selecting a suspect for arbitrary reasons" is that when the police have no meaningful leads, they resort to arresting the person who called them to the crime scene (as in the Amanda Knox case), or a member of the victim's family (Sion Jenkins), or someone who's already on the wrong side of them (Silcott, George) or simply someone picked up at random who fits a particular type that they would be looking for (the Guildford and Birmingham cases).

It's laughably easy to spot a wrongful prosecution, simply by asking yourself how the police managed to identify the accused as a suspect. If it isn't by following the primary evidence, and if the trial evidence is "discovered" after the accused has been arrested, then we're looking at a fit-up. Can you name any cases where the police have genuinely solved a mystery and identified the real culprits to a crime?
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Old 22nd September 2012, 09:43 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
It's laughably easy to spot a wrongful prosecution, simply by asking yourself how the police managed to identify the accused as a suspect. If it isn't by following the primary evidence, and if the trial evidence is "discovered" after the accused has been arrested, then we're looking at a fit-up.

I hadn't really thought of it in that way in general terms, but a lot of cases seem to fit that pattern. One in particular that I daren't mention is an absolute text-book case.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 10:45 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I hadn't really thought of it in that way in general terms, but a lot of cases seem to fit that pattern. One in particular that I daren't mention is an absolute text-book case.

Rolfe.
The frustrating thing is that the people whose job should be to protect the public from perverse prosecutions, the judges, don't even seem to be aware of the phenomenon. Yet thousands of people at street level, who join the innocence campaigns and are invariably proved right, can see it all too clearly - even if they wouldn't always put their finger on exactly what they saw as dodgy in a particular case.

The interesting exception is the Rachel Nickell murder case, when the police tried to prosecute Colin Stagg using "evidence" obtained using a honey trap. The judge was so disgusted by the methods used that he ruled all the prosecution evidence inadmissible and censured the police for behaving in this way. The irony is that police didn't even succeed in obtaining the confession they were aiming at in this case. Even with his trial being canned at the start, Stagg's life was destroyed by the year he spent in prison and it was over a decade before he received compensation.

Last edited by Antony; 22nd September 2012 at 11:00 AM. Reason: detail of wording
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Old 22nd September 2012, 11:27 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
This is known as "banging one's head against a brick wall".

Who is stating something as a fact, here? For at least the third time, another poster (Nessie) claimed - in the teeth of a series of incidents suggesting the opposite - that it was "very, very rare" that police fit up innocent suspects. It was me who asked how he can make this claim, and I added my reasons for believing that known cases suggest the opposite.

Let's just reflect on this: Nessie stated his conclusion as a fact, without anything to support it. I haven't said anything stronger than that the evidence suggests the opposite conclusion - and with considerably more justification than Nessie's assertion.

You can bleat "statistically insignificant" all you like, our evidence is still considerably stronger than your evidence - and, in addition, the burden of evidence was on you in the first place.
All you have is evidence of cases that have gone wrong shows cases can go wrong. You have diddly squat as to the number of cases that go wrong.

Here are some facts for you

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics...cial-quarterly

There were 432,311 criminal proceedings completed in magistratesí courts in the first quarter of 2012,

43,110 trials were recorded in magistratesí courts,

In the first quarter of 2012, 34,648 cases were received

10,555 trials were recorded in the Crown Court,

That is the first quarter of 2012 in England and Wales. You have selected about 6 cases over the past 20 years that have gone wrong and concluded, falsely that there is a major issue with the police fitting people up.

Or do you seriously believe that there have been 432,311 cases so far in the magistrates court of the police fitting people up?

What you are trying to claim is the equivalent of because sometimes shops get people's change wrong, then probably all shops get all people's change wrong. But if that was true, there would have been such a breakdown in the system we would know about it. The same applies to cases presented to court by the police.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 12:01 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
They might have got Huntley sooner had the PCs he was showing round the school insisted he get his keys and unlock the cupboard he had hidden their clothes in rather than let themselves get fobbed off. Ha ha, what about the recent one where the cops searched a small council house four times before they found the body of the schoolgirl they were looking for?
The police make mistakes

But they deal with devious liars and criminals not wanting to be caught for what they did. Its not as if the girls body was in plain sight inside a house of a known murderous paedophile. She was well hidden in her grandmothers. But they persevered and found her.
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