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Tags Liverpool incidents , police misconduct charges , UK incidents

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Old 22nd September 2012, 12:09 PM   #241
Nessie
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
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.


....

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,

......
There are many who done it cases, not investigated in the style of Poirot mind you. Here is a high profile Scottish one ongoing at the moment

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-west-18476613

Since the vast majority of murders are commited on people by people who are known to them or live nearby, the police, if there is no other line of enquiry, will look at family members, neighbours, friends of the victim, even just to rule them out. That is them doing their work.

If is laughable how many arm chair detectives there are who are brilliant at spotting the really guilty with the benefit of hindsight.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 12:59 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
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.
Yeah, I know. The cops are great and they look after us. Let's see how their own internal enquiry into this one works out.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 03:05 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There are many who done it cases, not investigated in the style of Poirot mind you. Here is a high profile Scottish one ongoing at the moment

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-west-18476613
This is exactly the kind of case that leads to wrongful prosecutions, simply because the police have an impossible task. Given the pressures on them to "solve" crimes, it's easy to understand how they can be tempted to do it the easy way.
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Since the vast majority of murders are commited on people by people who are known to them or live nearby, the police, if there is no other line of enquiry, will look at family members, neighbours, friends of the victim, even just to rule them out. That is them doing their work.
Translation: "Since the vast majority of convictions for murder are obtained against people who are known to the victim ..."

How many of those convictions are genuine? We have no way of knowing. How many of the unsolved murders were actually committed by people known to the victim? We have even less to go on, but if as you say the police routinely focus on family, friends and neighbours then it seems likely the ratio is far lower. It's a self-fullfilling prophecy.

The message is: if you have the misfortune of discovering someone close to you has been murdered, then don't look to the police for sympathy. Make sure you have legal representation before you think about grieving.
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If is laughable how many arm chair detectives there are who are brilliant at spotting the really guilty with the benefit of hindsight.
Hindsight? When miscarriages of justice come to light, it's generally only after it's been obvious to the open-minded observer, sometimes for years. The "armchair detectives" are rather better at spotting injustices than the authorities are at admitting to them.

You really haven't thought this through, because you start with the assumption that convictions accurately represent justice. From that startpoint, it's not surprising that you reach the conclusion that wrongful convictions resulting from a police fit-up are (supposedly) "very, very rare". It's circular thinking.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 03:39 PM   #244
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When I lived in England, a young woman who had only just returned from her honeymoon was murdered very close to my workplace. Her brand-new husband was a butcher, which was spun as sinister. He was hounded by the police for weeks, and there were a number of newspaper articles sort of hinting he did it.

I saw a Crimewatch reconstruction, and realised there was a mistake in it, to do with train timetables and the victim's possible route home. I almost phoned to say, look there's a good chance she caught a different train from the one you think she did, and then tried to walk the line path from the station before the one she set off from. But I thought, don't be silly the police will know all that, they have train timetables too. I didn't say anything.

Some time later her body was found by the line path. I'd seen the cops beating the bushes and searching the path from my office at work, and assumed they would work their way down to the other station. They didn't. The county boundary ran between the two stations and they stopped there. Hertfordshire and Essex cops wouldn't trespass on the territory of the Met. She was found a hundred yards or so south of the county boundary, in Met territory.

As soon as they found her they realised she was another victim of a notorious serial "railway killer" and stopped persecuting her distraught husband. I just wished I'd called Crimewatch, because if they'd listened to me they might have searched the southern half of that path much sooner, and it could have spared her husband some grief.

So, not impressed by the failure to figure out that there was more than one rail route she might have travelled on, failure to carry the original search past the arbitrary county boundary, and knee-jerk attack on the grieving husband, when there was never any evidence at all to point to the poor man.

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Old 22nd September 2012, 04:48 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There are many who done it cases, not investigated in the style of Poirot mind you. Here is a high profile Scottish one ongoing at the moment

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...-west-18476613

Since the vast majority of murders are commited on people by people who are known to them or live nearby, the police, if there is no other line of enquiry, will look at family members, neighbours, friends of the victim, even just to rule them out. That is them doing their work.

If is laughable how many arm chair detectives there are who are brilliant at spotting the really guilty with the benefit of hindsight.
I think it's easy to get a distorted picture of one's own competence relative to the police if you only ever look at the publicised miscarriages of justice, just as a lot of people who have never looked at those cases have a distorted picture of police competence.

You do spot a pattern in the innocent accused and the cases against them after a while though, and it's not unreasonable to assume that someone who's made a hobby of those cases might have spent more time on the topic than the average copper.

It's like any other recognition task, really. Once you've "got your eye in" things jump out at you, which you would have paid little attention to beforehand.

You're also correct that it's very easy to be right about a case with the benefit of hindsight. However I do think some people around here do deserve credit for being right about the Knox case before the accused were released, or right about Lockerbie even though we may never see justice done in that case, just to pick two examples where people were tackling unsolved problems rather than gloating over police mistakes that had already been examined in detail.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 05:13 PM   #246
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i remember seeing a picture of people smashed up at the gates in sports illustrated when it happened. i have been haunted by that picture ever since.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 05:47 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
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.
Once again - you're the one who made a claim, presented as a statement of fact ("It has happened, but it is very, very rare"). You're the one who needs to provide evidence. What do you have on the number of cases that go wrong? Diddly squat.
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Here are some facts for you

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

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

43,110 trials were recorded in magistrates’ 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.
This is known as "blind them with science". If you quote enough figures, they are bound to think you know what you're talking about. All that is interesting, but it's not relevant to the discussion.

As others have pointed out, these figures include all the routine cases where there are no facts in real dispute. The integrity of the police is only really tested and put on show in the kind of cases we're discussing - and in these cases they are doing extremely badly.

In any case, your implied assumption seems to be that all of the police work in these cases was sound. Yet we don't know anything about whether it was or not, so you can't claim it as a counterbalance to the dodgy cases that we do know about.
Quote:
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.
It's certainly considerably more than 6 cases. Even among the discussion here, it is more than 6.

What are the cases that you've quoted? Again, no reeling out irrelevant figures - let's see some real equivalent cases, where the police have had to do some genuine detective work and have got it right in a high-profile case.
Quote:
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.
I haven't claimed anything of the sort. What I am claiming is that police integrity cannot be relied upon, in cases where the facts are in dispute, and particularly in very difficult cases where they are under pressure to bring a prosecution. I am also stating, reasonably, that the cases we know about are an indicator to the cases we know less about. That's very different from how you have misrepresented me.

Let's get back to what you are claiming: that police misconduct is "very, very rare". So your view is that, in assessing police credibility in general, we can completely disregard not only the history of miscarriages of justice, but also the proven institutional lying demonstrated in the Hillsborough affair (as well as over the Ian Tomlinson incident, and the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting).
Quote:
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.
No it doesn't. There are no parallels between shoppers giving change to customers and police actions in court.

Last edited by Antony; 22nd September 2012 at 05:56 PM. Reason: added point about "implied assumption"
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:23 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
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.
The converse is also true.
It is also unreasonable to assume that because of a few cases of of police misbehaviour, that there should be a large number of similar cases.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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.
Whose sound reasoning and evidence thereof?
Nessie says "very, very rare" and you want evidence.
You imply the opposite ie, "very, very common" and Nessie must accept a handful of botched cases as evidence.

No one has demonstrated a widespread pattern of police misbehaviour.
The figures quoted by Nessie were only for the first quarter of 2012, IIRC.

Level the playing field and compare the same timeframes and sample size.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:52 AM   #249
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Doesn't this hold true anymore?

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Old 23rd September 2012, 02:48 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post

....


You really haven't thought this through, because you start with the assumption that convictions accurately represent justice. From that startpoint, it's not surprising that you reach the conclusion that wrongful convictions resulting from a police fit-up are (supposedly) "very, very rare". It's circular thinking.
Yet you apparently have thought this through and based on a few high profile cases have decided the whole system has been failing from the very start.

Can you present any evidence to back that up?

What would you say is the proportion of convictions that are fit ups?
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Old 23rd September 2012, 02:54 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
When I lived in England, a young woman who had only just returned from her honeymoon was murdered very close to my workplace. Her brand-new husband was a butcher, which was spun as sinister. He was hounded by the police for weeks, and there were a number of newspaper articles sort of hinting he did it.

I saw a Crimewatch reconstruction, and realised there was a mistake in it, to do with train timetables and the victim's possible route home. I almost phoned to say, look there's a good chance she caught a different train from the one you think she did, and then tried to walk the line path from the station before the one she set off from. But I thought, don't be silly the police will know all that, they have train timetables too. I didn't say anything.

Some time later her body was found by the line path. I'd seen the cops beating the bushes and searching the path from my office at work, and assumed they would work their way down to the other station. They didn't. The county boundary ran between the two stations and they stopped there. Hertfordshire and Essex cops wouldn't trespass on the territory of the Met. She was found a hundred yards or so south of the county boundary, in Met territory.

As soon as they found her they realised she was another victim of a notorious serial "railway killer" and stopped persecuting her distraught husband. I just wished I'd called Crimewatch, because if they'd listened to me they might have searched the southern half of that path much sooner, and it could have spared her husband some grief.

So, not impressed by the failure to figure out that there was more than one rail route she might have travelled on, failure to carry the original search past the arbitrary county boundary, and knee-jerk attack on the grieving husband, when there was never any evidence at all to point to the poor man.

Rolfe.
That is the whole bloody point of Crimewatch. Yes you should have phoned them.

By the way, if you think it bad now, think how bad it is going to get with the new terms and conditions for police officers. If the job is not able to attract the brightest and best now, it has no chance in the future.

Oh and you don't know enough about the actual evidence the police had in that case to come to some of your conclusions. But that never deters armchair detectives.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 03:03 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post

..... What I am claiming is that police integrity cannot be relied upon, in cases where the facts are in dispute, and particularly in very difficult cases where they are under pressure to bring a prosecution. I am also stating, reasonably, that the cases we know about are an indicator to the cases we know less about. That's very different from how you have misrepresented me.

Let's get back to what you are claiming: that police misconduct is "very, very rare". So your view is that, in assessing police credibility in general, we can completely disregard not only the history of miscarriages of justice, but also the proven institutional lying demonstrated in the Hillsborough affair (as well as over the Ian Tomlinson incident, and the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting).


.......
We are at a dead end here. You present some miscarriages of justice and say we should doubt all justice and I present cases where there is no dispute and say this problem is not widespread.

As for who done its with a conviction that is not disputed then I can start with various serial killers from the Yorkshire Ripper to Dennis Nilson to the Moors Murders to Harold Shipman, to Peter Tobin to Robert Black.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 03:52 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
That is the whole bloody point of Crimewatch. Yes you should have phoned them.

<snip>

Oh and you don't know enough about the actual evidence the police had in that case to come to some of your conclusions. But that never deters armchair detectives.
Make your mind up. Is input from the public via Crimewatch useful, or are they just armchair detectives without the evidence available to the police?
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:05 AM   #254
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In all fairness, the purpose of Crimewatch is for the public to be the eyes and ears for the police.

In other words tell them what you have seen or heard.

The purpose is not for the public to draw conclusions from what they have seen or heard.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:28 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
We are at a dead end here. You present some miscarriages of justice and say we should doubt all justice and I present cases where there is no dispute and say this problem is not widespread.
Up to now neither you or Skwinty have presented any cases. All you have done is quote some meaningless statistics on the total number of cases in magistrates' courts.
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As for who done its with a conviction that is not disputed then I can start with various serial killers from the Yorkshire Ripper to Dennis Nilson to the Moors Murders to Harold Shipman, to Peter Tobin to Robert Black.
Now we're getting somewhere. Without intending any disrespect to the police involved in those investigations, these are the kind of cases I was thinking of when I said "handed to them on a plate". In no way could the Shipman case, for example, be described as a "whodunnit".

Of course this is relative, compared with the notorious miscarriages of justice, when the crimes were "solved" seemingly using psychic powers. By contrast, in each of the cases you cite, the culprits were essentially caught in the act. That is what makes it so easy to spot genuine prosecutions, compared to dodgy ones, and so frustrating that the courts and news media can't seem to perceive the difference.

The police still deserve enormous credit for resolving those crimes in a professional and fair manner, and for resisting the temptation to "solve" the crimes the easy way, by fixing on one or more random individuals as in the miscarriages of justice cases we have been discussing.

Now can you quote any case where the police have correctly identified the culprit from crime scene clues and witness statements other than "your man is ..."? I don't think you can. Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes don't exist in real life.

Last edited by Antony; 23rd September 2012 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Added final point
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:31 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
Up to now neither you or Skwinty have presented any cases. All you have done is quote some meaningless statistics on the total number of cases in magistrates' courts..
What cases do you expect us to quote?

The one's that have not yet been demonstrated to be police fit ups?
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Old 23rd September 2012, 06:05 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
In all fairness, the purpose of Crimewatch is for the public to be the eyes and ears for the police.

In other words tell them what you have seen or heard.

The purpose is not for the public to draw conclusions from what they have seen or heard.

That's just it. I didn't see or hear anything. I drew some conclusions from what I knew about the train service involved, and how someone who was trying to get to that station but couldn't get a train that stopped there might behave.

I thought it wasn't my place to play detective like that, so I didn't phone them. I've regretted it ever since.

Even now, the modus operandi is believed to be that the victim got the train the police thought she caught, and was ambushed by the murderer there, and somehow frogmarched down the line path half way to the previous station before being killed. Or maybe the body was carried down the path, I don't know. Risky game that, as the path was quite well frequented.

I don't know. All I know is that when I saw the reconstruction, I thought, I'll bet she didn't make the stopping train, got on the fast train, and hoped to get a taxi. But you won't get a taxi there easily on a Sunday evening, and the path parallels the railway line, and it's not a long walk for a young fit person.

I think she might have done that, and been ambushed on the path, and killed close to where her body was found. A new timetable had just come into force and she didn't have a copy. I did. If she'd just stayed on the fast train to the next station, she could have connected with a stopping train back to the station she wanted.

Well, it was a long time ago, and who knows. I still wish I'd phoned though. If they'd taken me seriously they'd have continued the search down the line path and found her much sooner than they actually did. But I was young and I thought the police knew what they were doing, and it wasn't for me to play amateur detective.

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 06:40 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
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.
Well sometimes you do get cases of life imitating art, e.g. the Murchison Murders but they're rare.

Originally Posted by Antony View Post
Sorry, that's completely wrong. All the cases I cited occurred among massive publicity, and the miscarriages of justice only became recognised years later.


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?
Not to forget Hawley Crippen, Adolf Beck, Oscar Slater, the Cardiff Three, Norman Thorne, Albert Dearnley, Timothy Evans, Paul Blackburn, Donna Anthony, the Cardiff Five, Stefan Kiszko, the Cardiff (newsagent) Three, Mahmood Mattan, Andrew Evans, Judith Ward, John Boyle, the Bridgewater Four, the Legal & General Gang, the Lattimore and Leighton (Maxwell Confait) case.........

Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Yeah, I know. The cops are great and they look after us. Let's see how their own internal enquiry into this one works out.
Well given the results of the last one I'm not optimistic. Even the PCA said the SYP deliberately frustrated that one.

Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Yet you apparently have thought this through and based on a few high profile cases have decided the whole system has been failing from the very start.

Can you present any evidence to back that up?
The system is designed to convict the selected "guilty" party and lacks safeguards where the person investigators decide is guilty is in fact innocent.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 08:17 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Yet you apparently have thought this through and based on a few high profile cases have decided the whole system has been failing from the very start.

Can you present any evidence to back that up?

What would you say is the proportion of convictions that are fit ups?
I think the problem here is that neither of you know what the real rate of dud convictions is, because nobody knows what the real rate of dud convictions is.

If you look only at cases of dud convictions, needless to say the police always look like idiots. If you look only at the general run of open-and-shut cases, the police look very competent. What would be fascinating would be to look only at the difficult cases, but even if we could objectively define "difficult cases" we've no way to run a search to find just those cases and examine them.

It might turn out that in 95% of difficult cases the police nail it. It might turn out that in 95% of difficult cases the police botch it. I don't think anyone has the data to say for sure either way. It's just a very difficult problem to get data on.

My suspicion is that police very rarely have to use probabilistic reasoning or anything resembling formal logic to solve a case, and that almost all the time the culprit is identified by boring, methodical police work where you just gather all the data and then the guilty party is obvious. As others have said already, cases where you need a Poirot or a Marple are vanishingly rare in real life if they exist at all.

(I blame this on a lack of suitably creative murderers. Nobody in real life actually seems to construct complicated murder plots with carefully arranged alibis in houses where everybody has a motive to kill the victim.)

It seems to me based on my unscientific search of the data already in my head (yes, I know the availability heuristic could well be biting me here) that some kind of bodgy forensics or bodgy interrogation technique seems to crop up in every modern miscarriage of justice. So part of the problem is a lack of sanity-checking by police, but also a large part of it seems to be that police justifiably trust confessions and forensics which is what we want them to do. If there's a corner case where the methodology is flawed, people used to trusting that methodology can easily come unglued.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 09:33 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Make your mind up. Is input from the public via Crimewatch useful, or are they just armchair detectives without the evidence available to the police?
It is not make your mind up time. One is a means of finding new witnesses, the other are people who think they know better how to investigate crime. Sometimes they cross over when a witness knows something they keep to themselves and then use that information to play armchair detective rather than be an actual witness.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 09:51 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
Up to now neither you or Skwinty have presented any cases. All you have done is quote some meaningless statistics on the total number of cases in magistrates' courts.


Now we're getting somewhere. Without intending any disrespect to the police involved in those investigations, these are the kind of cases I was thinking of when I said "handed to them on a plate". In no way could the Shipman case, for example, be described as a "whodunnit".

Of course this is relative, compared with the notorious miscarriages of justice, when the crimes were "solved" seemingly using psychic powers. By contrast, in each of the cases you cite, the culprits were essentially caught in the act. That is what makes it so easy to spot genuine prosecutions, compared to dodgy ones, and so frustrating that the courts and news media can't seem to perceive the difference.

The police still deserve enormous credit for resolving those crimes in a professional and fair manner, and for resisting the temptation to "solve" the crimes the easy way, by fixing on one or more random individuals as in the miscarriages of justice cases we have been discussing.

Now can you quote any case where the police have correctly identified the culprit from crime scene clues and witness statements other than "your man is ..."? I don't think you can. Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes don't exist in real life.
The supposedly meaning less statistics show you how many cases go through the system without an issues and those which result in a miscarriage of justice. I accept under your terms and conditions I cannot prove all are safe and secure convictions. But you have nothing to show they are in any way unsafe and were fit ups.

OK, Harold Shipman was not the best example. But to say the Yorkshire Ripper was not who done it is rubbish, as with the others I listed. The police had no idea who it was committing those murders. The Yorkshire Ripper lead to the creation of HOLMES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HOLMES_2

specifically to assist with who done it enquiries. When I was working at another court, these were two major enquiries and who done it cases solved with a combination of interviewing witnesses and forensics

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23844305.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/168602.stm

There are thousands more like that and for you to think there are not is pure argumentum ad ignorantiam.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 09:58 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's just it. I didn't see or hear anything. I drew some conclusions from what I knew about the train service involved, and how someone who was trying to get to that station but couldn't get a train that stopped there might behave.

I thought it wasn't my place to play detective like that, so I didn't phone them. I've regretted it ever since.

Even now, the modus operandi is believed to be that the victim got the train the police thought she caught, and was ambushed by the murderer there, and somehow frogmarched down the line path half way to the previous station before being killed. Or maybe the body was carried down the path, I don't know. Risky game that, as the path was quite well frequented.

I don't know. All I know is that when I saw the reconstruction, I thought, I'll bet she didn't make the stopping train, got on the fast train, and hoped to get a taxi. But you won't get a taxi there easily on a Sunday evening, and the path parallels the railway line, and it's not a long walk for a young fit person.

I think she might have done that, and been ambushed on the path, and killed close to where her body was found. A new timetable had just come into force and she didn't have a copy. I did. If she'd just stayed on the fast train to the next station, she could have connected with a stopping train back to the station she wanted.

Well, it was a long time ago, and who knows. I still wish I'd phoned though. If they'd taken me seriously they'd have continued the search down the line path and found her much sooner than they actually did. But I was young and I thought the police knew what they were doing, and it wasn't for me to play amateur detective.

Rolfe.
They also ask for any information. So knowledge of a time table would count. It can count as the testimony of an expert witness and such are used all the time. The police would be happy to hear from someone with information like that which in large enquiries can be missed.

I know of murder solved when a member of the public handed in a key. They found it near by the murder scene, but outwith the cordon. Since there had been a murder, they thankfully handed it over to the police, just in case. They became a witness speaking to finding the key.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 10:04 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
....

My suspicion is that police very rarely have to use probabilistic reasoning or anything resembling formal logic to solve a case, and that almost all the time the culprit is identified by boring, methodical police work where you just gather all the data and then the guilty party is obvious. As others have said already, cases where you need a Poirot or a Marple are vanishingly rare in real life if they exist at all.

.....
Scots Law (I cannot speak about others) does not allow logical reasoning to be used to evidence a case. It is all about gathering data and seeing where that leads to. Poirot type cases do not exist in real life.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 10:18 AM   #264
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Gathering data and seeing where that leads to, IS logical reasoning, by definition.

Mind you, the statement "Scots law does not allow logical reasoning" could explain a great deal...

Rolfe.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 10:30 AM   #265
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To clarify, what I mean is that you cannot just argue a case as if you are presenting an argument in a debate. You can only present evidence.

I don't see logic as having a major role in gathering of evidence. For example, say a witness was sure the suspect had a red coat on, so therefore the police concentrate on people who were wearing red coats at the time of the offence. That is logical, but it is not logical reasoning as a form of argument.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 11:00 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The supposedly meaning less statistics show you how many cases go through the system without an issues and those which result in a miscarriage of justice. I accept under your terms and conditions I cannot prove all are safe and secure convictions. But you have nothing to show they are in any way unsafe and were fit ups.
And neither do you. You are the one who made a specific claim as to the real frequency of police fit-ups, not me.
Quote:
OK, Harold Shipman was not the best example. But to say the Yorkshire Ripper was not who done it is rubbish, as with the others I listed. The police had no idea who it was committing those murders. The Yorkshire Ripper lead to the creation of HOLMES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HOLMES_2

specifically to assist with who done it enquiries.
Well, there may have been a massive database built up around the Ripper murders, but Sutcliffe was actually arrested for a motoring offence and then checked out because he matched descriptions given. So, sound police work but only successful because of a lucky break.

Of the cases you list, this is the only one that can be stretched to resemble the sham detective work in the notorious injustices, but the contrast is still striking.
Quote:
When I was working at another court, these were two major enquiries and who done it cases solved with a combination of interviewing witnesses and forensics

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-23844305.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/168602.stm
2 tragic stories, short on detail as to how the police solved the case and what the evidence was that was used to obtain convictions. In the absence of details like these, I will reserve judgement as to whether they are genuine or not; unlike some members here, I do not take the view: "they were found guilty, so they must have done it."

I would add that the accused in these cases were: (1) a family member, and in an earlier message you revealed that police focus on family members because convictions are likely to be successful; and (2) drug dealers, very much a class of people who the police might single out for a dodgy prosecution. All of this makes these the kind of stories where I would need a reason to be confident that they are sound, so they cannot be quoted as examples of cases intended to provide that confidence.
Quote:
There are thousands more like that and for you to think there are not is pure argumentum ad ignorantiam.
There are indeed thousands like these, and you will need to work harder to make them into evidence in support of your claims.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 11:29 AM   #267
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Antony, I do not think anything will pass your muster. I think your idea of who done it is from Poirot and so unrealistic. That is why I present real who done its and you say, thats not a real who done it case. I was going to present some cases solved by the introduction of DNA and how previously unsolved cases resulted in convictions. But I doubt now that you except that as a who done it solved by the police either.

The two cases I quoted, the Black Bull murder turned out to be a relative but at first there was nothing to indicate that. The Aitken case started as a missing persons enquiry and was found out later to be a murder and that lead to the conviction. Considering random stranger murder is rare it is not surprising that two who done it cases turned out to be a relative and over drugs.

Are you claiming the whole justice system is a fail when it comes to who done it cases?

I say it is not, but it is not perfect either which is born out by the number of cases which go through the system without contention compared to the miss carriages of justice. You on the other hand are guilty of a non sequitur. By using miss carriages you are trying to caste doubt on the whole system, but have nothing to back that up.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 12:18 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Scots Law (I cannot speak about others) does not allow logical reasoning to be used to evidence a case. It is all about gathering data and seeing where that leads to. Poirot type cases do not exist in real life.
I have thought about this and concluded it is so meaningless as to warrant a cite. Please supply an authority for this proposition. Btw. equally meaningless would be the opposite proposition. Reasoning (except in the special case of expert's evidence) is never evidence. That certainly does not mean reasoning is not part of the trial process (it obviously is) only that what you say is meaningless. Cite please.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 12:29 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Antony, I do not think anything will pass your muster. I think your idea of who done it is from Poirot and so unrealistic.
Nessie, you are projecting your own argument from incredulity onto me. You haven't made your case, pure and simple.
Quote:
That is why I present real who done its and you say, thats not a real who done it case.
You need to say why you consider them to be whodunnits, and more importantly, what the process was the police used to crack the whodunnit. Otherwise you haven't made your point.
Quote:
I was going to present some cases solved by the introduction of DNA and how previously unsolved cases resulted in convictions. But I doubt now that you except that as a who done it solved by the police either.
I would consider each case on its merits. DNA analysis is a powerful tool that has allowed many old cases to be reopened, and proved people innocent as well as leading to convictions, so I would never dismiss it out of hand. However, DNA results have also been misused by dishonest prosecutors, most notably in the Amanda Knox case.
Quote:
The two cases I quoted, the Black Bull murder turned out to be a relative but at first there was nothing to indicate that. The Aitken case started as a missing persons enquiry and was found out later to be a murder and that lead to the conviction.
I have highlighted the leaps of faith that you are demanding of the reader. Establishment of "facts" by unspecified means is a characteristic of miscarriages of justice.
Quote:
Considering random stranger murder is rare it is not surprising that two who done it cases turned out to be a relative and over drugs.
You really don't get it, do you? You are continuing to cite the outcome of trials in our justice system in support of a belief in the accuracy of the justice system. That is classic circular reasoning.

In the news reports of the 2 cases you linked, the only "evidence" mentioned is a series of statements and circumstances that are no more than suspicious. On their own, these suspicious details couldn't possibly be enough for convictions. This means either that the news stories failed to report the key evidence in the respective cases, or that they were wrongful convictions. Either way, your news item links are poor evidence in support of your argument.
Quote:
Are you claiming the whole justice system is a fail when it comes to who done it cases?
Mostly I am saying that we cannot say one way or the other, in too many cases. I think if you read what I have been saying with an open mind, then you wouldn't need to ask this.
Quote:
I say it is not, but it is not perfect either which is born out by the number of cases which go through the system without contention compared to the miss carriages of justice. You on the other hand are guilty of a non sequitur. By using miss carriages you are trying to caste doubt on the whole system, but have nothing to back that up.
That is completely brazen on your part. What I am saying is that I take seriously the principles of justice: "innocent until proved guilty"; "justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done." Asking me to take the accuracy of judicial process on trust, goes fundamentally against those principles - especially when I know of numerous cases where the principles have not been followed.

Last edited by Antony; 23rd September 2012 at 12:40 PM. Reason: adjusted highlighting
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:03 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Gathering data and seeing where that leads to, IS logical reasoning, by definition.

Mind you, the statement "Scots law does not allow logical reasoning" could explain a great deal...

Rolfe.
Here is a link to Speculative Reasoning in Law and Logic and scots law, perhaps this is what Nessie is referring to. http://www.jurix.nl/pdf/j04-13.pdf



"In developing alternative scenarios consistent with the evidence, the ATMS performs some of the scrutiny a good defence solicitor would subject the prosecution case to.

A defence solicitor has broadly speaking two strategies available to him.

First, he can question the factual correctness or the legal admissibility of evidence presented by the prosecution.

Second, he can accept the evidence at face value and argue that alternative explanations for their presence are possible that do not incriminate his client. We are concerned here primarily with this second strategy.

However, it is here that we encounter a certain ambiguity, an ambiguity explicitly recognised by the Scots law of evidence. The defence has in fact again two strategies available to it.

The first can be dubbed the “Perry Mason Stratagem”. Like the fictitious advocate, the defence can pursue its own investigation and “point to the real culprit”.

In Scots law, this is known as the special defence of incrimination [18], recently used (unsuccessfully) in the Lockerbie trial. This strategy has a number of psychological and legal advantages."
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:28 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I have thought about this and concluded it is so meaningless as to warrant a cite. Please supply an authority for this proposition. Btw. equally meaningless would be the opposite proposition. Reasoning (except in the special case of expert's evidence) is never evidence. That certainly does not mean reasoning is not part of the trial process (it obviously is) only that what you say is meaningless. Cite please.
I will get you a cite, the one I know of means paying a fee, so I will find another or pay up.

What I mean is do you think you can go into a court and make an argument for innocence or guilt without recourse to any evidence?
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Old 23rd September 2012, 01:49 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by Antony View Post
Nessie, you are projecting your own argument from incredulity onto me. You haven't made your case, pure and simple.


You need to say why you consider them to be whodunnits, and more importantly, what the process was the police used to crack the whodunnit. Otherwise you haven't made your point.


I would consider each case on its merits. DNA analysis is a powerful tool that has allowed many old cases to be reopened, and proved people innocent as well as leading to convictions, so I would never dismiss it out of hand. However, DNA results have also been misused by dishonest prosecutors, most notably in the Amanda Knox case.


I have highlighted the leaps of faith that you are demanding of the reader. Establishment of "facts" by unspecified means is a characteristic of miscarriages of justice.


You really don't get it, do you? You are continuing to cite the outcome of trials in our justice system in support of a belief in the accuracy of the justice system. That is classic circular reasoning.

In the news reports of the 2 cases you linked, the only "evidence" mentioned is a series of statements and circumstances that are no more than suspicious. On their own, these suspicious details couldn't possibly be enough for convictions. This means either that the news stories failed to report the key evidence in the respective cases, or that they were wrongful convictions. Either way, your news item links are poor evidence in support of your argument.


Mostly I am saying that we cannot say one way or the other, in too many cases. I think if you read what I have been saying with an open mind, then you wouldn't need to ask this.


That is completely brazen on your part. What I am saying is that I take seriously the principles of justice: "innocent until proved guilty"; "justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done." Asking me to take the accuracy of judicial process on trust, goes fundamentally against those principles - especially when I know of numerous cases where the principles have not been followed.
I haven't made my case to you. But as I say I do not think that is possible anyway.

They are who done it cases as when the crime took place the police initially had no idea who the culprit was. Here is another example

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12803014

The local non famous and the famous national cases I have linked to are who done it as initially and then for days, weeks, months or even years the police still had no specific suspects or enough to charge and report anyone. Then then used detective work, evidence gathering and yes with the Yorkshire Ripper they also got a lucky break, along with all the enquiry that was done. That proves my argument. Or else what is your definition of a who done it?

OK, so you do not trust the legal system because you see flaws in some cases that you think, with no evidence pervades the entire judiciary. I have already made the point that because some medical professionals get it wrong does not mean the whole of medicine is flawed.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 02:42 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
In Scots law, this is known as the special defence of incrimination [18], recently used (unsuccessfully) in the Lockerbie trial. This strategy has a number of psychological and legal advantages."

I don't think that's right. The defence in the Lockerbie trial did indeed lodge a special defence of incrimination, but if the vitriolic criticism of the UN observer to the trial is accurate, this wasn't pursued. All that actually happened was that the defence listened to the prosecution evidence and argument and said, you've not made your case. I think I could have done better for £3,000 a day, frankly.

The point about a special defence of incrimination is that the defence does not need to prove that someone else did it. It does not even need to prove that it's more likely that someone else did it than that the defendant did it. It only needs to show that there is a finite possibility which doesn't require ridiculous special pleading that someone else did it. At Camp Zeist, the judges appeared to be saying, you haven't proved beyond reasonable doubt that someone else did it, so bad luck.

But whichever way you slice it, logical reasoning is essential. It just would appear from certain judgements that certain judges don't know how to do that.

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Old 23rd September 2012, 07:07 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
To clarify, what I mean is that you cannot just argue a case as if you are presenting an argument in a debate. You can only present evidence.

I don't see logic as having a major role in gathering of evidence. For example, say a witness was sure the suspect had a red coat on, so therefore the police concentrate on people who were wearing red coats at the time of the offence. That is logical, but it is not logical reasoning as a form of argument.
If you think about it, logical reasoning is absolutely necessary to any case, prosecution or defence. You have to get from a bunch of facts (your premises) to a conclusion (guilty or not guilty) somehow, and that requires an argument.

Hopefully the evidence is so strong that the reasoning is trivial. You don't have to be a logic puzzle fan to figure out that if only Steve could possibly have committed the crime, and Steve was found with the stolen widget, then Steve stole the widget.

This distinction you are trying to make between "logical" and "logical reasoning as a form of argument" is specious. Any argument which is logical is logical reasoning as a form of argument.

The reason why I mentioned logic specifically is there are a couple of well-known cases where the police had the evidence in hand to logically deduce they had the wrong suspect(s) but they didn't accept the obvious conclusion that followed. In the Lesley Molseed case they were looking for a killer who left sperm on the victim's body, and they arrested a guy who was congenitally unable to produce sperm. In the Amanda Knox case they had a victim which had almost certainly died between 9:05pm and 9:30pm, and they arrested two people who were somewhere else at that time as established by internet activity.

In those cases they needed to do more than just put all the evidence in a pile and grab whoever it seemed to vaguely point to. They needed to logically analyse that evidence to see what it was actually saying about the details of the real world. In both cases I just cited they didn't do that. (I do not have a thesis as to what percentage of cases are made by teams with that level of illogical thinking at work).
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Old 23rd September 2012, 11:59 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't think that's right. The defence in the Lockerbie trial did indeed lodge a special defence of incrimination, but if the vitriolic criticism of the UN observer to the trial is accurate, this wasn't pursued. All that actually happened was that the defence listened to the prosecution evidence and argument and said, you've not made your case. I think I could have done better for £3,000 a day, frankly.

This is where I saw the connection between Scots law, special defence of incrimination and speculative and logical evidence.
I am not a lawyer, so I may well be confused.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_..._bombing_trial
In week 17, another four passengers on flight KM 180 were asked to testify. The following week, Abdul Majid Giaka, a defector from the Libyan intelligence service, appeared wearing sunglasses and a wig. Giaka, who had been on the US Witness Protection Program since July 1991, testified that Megrahi was a Libyan agent.
Rather than calling the defendants to the witness stand, their legal team sought to use the special defence of incrimination against the person or persons they believed were guilty of the crime. There was speculation that Mohammed Abu Talb, a convicted PFLP-GC member, would be called by the defence to testify in week 19, and when he failed to appear the trial was adjourned for the next five weeks to allow new evidence from a "country in the Mid East" to be examined.
One of the last witnesses for the prosecution was broadcaster and politician, Pierre Salinger, who was questioned by prosecutor Alan Turnbull and by both defence counsel William Taylor and Richard Keen. After his testimony, judge Lord Sutherland asked Salinger to leave the witness box. However, the broadcaster responded:

"That's all? You're not letting me tell the truth. Wait a minute, I know exactly who did it. I know how it was done."
But Lord Sutherland told Salinger:

"If you wish to make a point you may do so elsewhere, but I'm afraid you may not do so in this court."[11]
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:18 AM   #276
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Yeah, that was an odd one. Salinger's role in the Lockerbie saga is quite strange, given what he did in November 1991.

It's pretty clear that the judge was indicating to Salinger, who was a witness and not an advocate, that he had no right to make a spontaneous speech from the witness box explaining his own personal conspiracy theory about the case. Which he hadn't. The judge was quite right. One of the few times, in that court-room, but he was.

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Old 24th September 2012, 02:26 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I will get you a cite, the one I know of means paying a fee, so I will find another or pay up.

What I mean is do you think you can go into a court and make an argument for innocence or guilt without recourse to any evidence?
Off the top of my head, no. But evidence consists of facts (most witnesses) or opinions (expert witnesses) and nothing else. Arguments are made out of the facts and opinions adduced in evidence. Witnesses are no more allowed to advance arguments when giving evidence than they may dance a jig or juggle: it's not what they are there for.

And how did the discussion divert into this particular rivulet? Who is arguing that the court is a proper place for free-floating argument? What has it to do with the Hillsborough cover up? I may have lost the thread.
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:37 AM   #278
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
And how did the discussion divert into this particular rivulet?

sorry, that's probably my fault.

I will cease and desist.
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Old 24th September 2012, 03:32 AM   #279
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I think it sort of spread from the discussions about police competence, and the apparent propensity to close ranks and hold the line rather than to admit to a mistake.

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Old 24th September 2012, 03:46 AM   #280
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This was the post that started me off.



http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=268
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