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Old 30th December 2016, 11:39 AM   #41
Rolfe
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That's very interesting, thank you. I've had quite close relations with the detectives in the Police Scotland Operation Sandwood team, and they have struck me as competent, intelligent and well-motivated officers. They were all long out of Tulliallan by 2011, but I think the very nature of that inquiry is prompting them to look for exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory of Megrahi and Fhimah that is, I would expect them to be looking for exculpatory evidence in favour of the people we have accused of criminal acts leading to the wrongful conviction without prompting!

It's something we note quite forcefully in the Mark Lundy case. People looking at the issues are hampered by there being no serious investigation of other possible suspects in the murders, or at least nothing that's in the public domain. Lesley Moleseed is another one. There was eyewitness evidence Stefan Kiszko was elsewhere at the time of the murder, and of course there was the whole azoospermia thing. Some of the evidence that finally convicted Castree, other than the DNA, should have been picked up at the time but wasn't. Sion Jenkins is another. Apparently there was another, very reasonable line of inquiry which was thwarted by the suspect being severely mentally ill and psychiatrists getting involved. The police went for the easier target and moved heaven and earth to get evidence suggesting he'd done something virtually impossible. Tunnel vision every time.

In contrast although the Suzanne Pilley murder happened in 2010 I get the impression the police did look at other lines of inquiry but came up with nothing except the mountain of circumstantial evidence pointing to Gilroy. I think there is something of a culture change going on in detective work where the emphasis is on getting the right solution to the crime rather than on "building a case" against one specific person, often identified at a very early stage.

Come to think of it, the backpedalling over Chris Jefferies suggests things were going partly right even then, although the leaking of smear and gossip to the press while he was still in custody was a shocker. Though I suppose he did get a lot of libel money out of it in the end and everybody knows he didn't murder Jo Yates and isn't even particularly freaky so I suppose he may be well enough off now.

You'd think anyone at all interested in puzzle solving would want to go go for the "right solution" rather than jamming jigsaw pieces together where they really don't fit properly. But a lot of detective work last century didn't seem to see it that way. By the way, I don't know how much I should say on an open forum, but do you know anything about a detective inspector called Harry Bell?

PS. Sorry Nessie, I've cleared some space in my PM box now.
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Old 30th December 2016, 11:41 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Yes, Matthew. Of course they are.

Congratulations. You have now won 0.000000000001 Internet Points.
What's the exchange rate?
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Old 30th December 2016, 11:49 AM   #43
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Old 30th December 2016, 11:57 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
What's the exchange rate?

With 1x10100,000,000,000,000,000 Internet Points you may be able to get a Green Stamp (from someone who is feeling generous).
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Old 30th December 2016, 02:36 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Richard Jewell comes to mind as well. And he wasn't ever even arrested. Just "a possible suspect".

People remember that and tend to forget he was the actual hero of the story. He's the one who spotted the bombs and got a warning out in time to save a lot of lives.
And to this day I bet you can find people who still think he was the one who planted the bombs.

I think both examples though pale beside Colin Stagg and the Rachel Nickell murder. All quote from the Wiki page

Essentially Rachel Nickell was murdered on Wimbledon Common in front of her young son. Press went ballistic and the police soon homed in on Colin Stagg, who occasionally walked his dog on the common and had an interest in the occult. The utter lack of evidence against Stagg did not deter the police. They used an undercover policewoman to try and entice(and yes I'm using that word deliberately) Stagg into confessing. He never did but somehow the police persuaded the CPS to mount a case, that was promptly dismissed by the Judge:

Quote:
When the case reached the Old Bailey Justice Ognall ruled that the police had shown "excessive zeal" and had tried to incriminate a suspect by "deceptive conduct of the grossest kind". He excluded the entrapment evidence and the prosecution withdrew its case. Stagg was formally acquitted in September 1994.
Of course mere acquittal didn't stop the police and press from treating Stagg as a man who had gotten away with murder, for over a decade.


In 2006 armed with new evidence the police had a new suspect, Robert Napper. Luckily he wasn't hard to track down as he was in Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital. Why you may wonder?

Quote:
Later reports revealed the man to be Robert Napper, the convicted killer of Samantha Bisset and her four-year-old daughter Jazmine, murdered in November 1993, 16 months after Nickell's murder.
Yes, while the police were playing games the real killer had murdered again, but hey it's not like the police had any reason to suspect Napper was a violent sexual predator is it?

Quote:
Rachel Cerfontyne, of the IPCC, said that police failed to investigate the 1989 report that he attacked a woman on Plumstead Common, in London, and no record of the telephone call can be found. She added that officers "inconceivably" eliminated Napper over a series of rapes on parkland in south London because he was thought to be too tall. She said: "It is clear that throughout the investigations into the 'Green Chain' rapes and Rachel Nickell's death there was a catalogue of bad decisions and errors made by the Metropolitan Police. The police failed to sufficiently investigate after Napper's mother called police to report that he had confessed to her that he had raped a woman and, inconceivably, they eliminated Napper from inquiries into the Green Chain rapes because he was over 6ft tall. Without these errors, Robert Napper could have been off the streets before he killed Rachel Nickell and the Bissets, and before numerous women suffered violent sexual attacks at his hands."
The IPCC said no police officer would face disciplinary action because they have all retired, and one key senior detective has died. Criminal prosecutions were not considered.
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Old 31st December 2016, 02:40 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
And to this day I bet you can find people who still think he was the one who planted the bombs.

I think both examples though pale beside Colin Stagg and the Rachel Nickell murder. All quote from the Wiki page

Essentially Rachel Nickell was murdered on Wimbledon Common in front of her young son. Press went ballistic and the police soon homed in on Colin Stagg, who occasionally walked his dog on the common and had an interest in the occult. The utter lack of evidence against Stagg did not deter the police. They used an undercover policewoman to try and entice(and yes I'm using that word deliberately) Stagg into confessing. He never did but somehow the police persuaded the CPS to mount a case, that was promptly dismissed by the Judge:



Of course mere acquittal didn't stop the police and press from treating Stagg as a man who had gotten away with murder, for over a decade.


In 2006 armed with new evidence the police had a new suspect, Robert Napper. Luckily he wasn't hard to track down as he was in Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital. Why you may wonder?



Yes, while the police were playing games the real killer had murdered again, but hey it's not like the police had any reason to suspect Napper was a violent sexual predator is it?
Yes this is an excellent example of a common type of error where people are fixed on a decision and cannot step back and think that their first instinct was wrong. (In defence of humans often the 'gut feeling' is right but the problem is the failure of people to bare in mind that it may be wrong.)

Colin Stag was a weirdo (like Christopher Jeffries, like Amanda Knox?), an outsider, literally subject to a 'witch hunt'. The police became fixated on one suspect and failed to let the evidence speak for itself.

The other error illustrated is giving one piece of evidence undue importance - in the Yorkshire ripper cases the tape recordings with a Geordie accent, in the case above the exclusion of a suspect on the base of his height.

The first use of forensic DNA was to tie a man who had confessed and had been convicted of a rape / murder to a second rape/ murder with similar features. What the DNA showed was the man who had confessed and had been convicted was innocent; to give the police their due they immediately informed the defence lawyer that they had found exonerating evidence (even though it was a completely novel technique never used before in criminal investigation).

I do think that changes in major case investigation management, have been designed to try and address these errors including early case review by external investigators without pre-conceived assumptions about the case. Interview techniques under PACE are designed to reduce the risk of false confessions and confession evidence has to be tested (does it fit the facts as known?). Thus Amanda Knox's 'confession' did not fit the facts known (indeed contained virtually no detail and those present were incorrect). this was a good example of how a properly planned and structured interview would have obtained useful information.

There is a very good UK TV series called 'Line of Duty' which might be interesting for non-UK readers because of the detail about police procedure in interviewing suspects shown, it is also jolly good viewing. What it fails to show is the pre-interview planning; the police have to have a pre-planned structure in place, although you do get that sense from the very structured interview that results.

The exam question is; 'Compare and contrast police interview techniques as illustrated in "Life on Mars" and "Line of Duty".'
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Old 1st January 2017, 12:37 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's very interesting, thank you. I've had quite close relations with the detectives in the Police Scotland Operation Sandwood team, and they have struck me as competent, intelligent and well-motivated officers. They were all long out of Tulliallan by 2011, but I think the very nature of that inquiry is prompting them to look for exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory of Megrahi and Fhimah that is, I would expect them to be looking for exculpatory evidence in favour of the people we have accused of criminal acts leading to the wrongful conviction without prompting!

......
What is the best online source for info about Operation Sandwood?
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Old 1st January 2017, 12:43 PM   #48
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I think this;

"The IPCC said no police officer would face disciplinary action because they have all retired"

needs to reconsidered. A simple change in the law and when you consider the lump sump and huge pension police get, they are well able to cough up compensation to those they wrong.
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Old 1st January 2017, 04:44 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I think this;

"The IPCC said no police officer would face disciplinary action because they have all retired"

needs to reconsidered. A simple change in the law and when you consider the lump sump and huge pension police get, they are well able to cough up compensation to those they wrong.
Vicarious liability. The police force (the taxpayer) will pay compensation not the individual. It is hard to think how to discipline people who are no longer police officers if not bringing a criminal conviction.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 04:03 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
Vicarious liability. The police force (the taxpayer) will pay compensation not the individual. It is hard to think how to discipline people who are no longer police officers if not bringing a criminal conviction.
No, go after the retired officers lump sum and pension. I think just making it clear that is at risk would make officers behave, especially senior officers with only a few years left.
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Old 2nd January 2017, 05:46 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
No, go after the retired officers lump sum and pension. I think just making it clear that is at risk would make officers behave, especially senior officers with only a few years left.
Particularly as it often seems to be the case that police forces deliberately stall until officers have retired, often on 'medical grounds' and then claim there is nothing they can do. The Nickell case contains one more absurdity the undercover officer known as 'Lizzie James' sued the Met for damages and got £125,000 pounds. Rachel Nickell's son received a grand total of £22,000 in compensation for the loss of his mother.
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Old 4th January 2017, 05:29 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
What is the best online source for info about Operation Sandwood?

Probably Bob Black's Lockerbie blog, though I don't think there's an awful lot there as he mainly blogs other publications and the press isn't interested in Operation Sandwood.

Basically the committee of Justice for Megrahi accused a bunch of people involved in the original Lockerbie investigation and the 2000 court proceedings of criminal acts in connection with the whole thing going off the rails. This was realistically the only way to get the basic "off the rails" stuff investigated after the second appeal was abandoned.

Four areas were covered.
  • The false information conveyed to the court that the redacted passages in the CIA cables concerning Majid Giaka did not impinge on the credibility of the witness.
  • The ignoring by the original investigation (both police and forensics) of clear and compelling evidence that the bomb was in a suitcase seen at Heathrow an hour before the flight from Frankfurt landed, and also the shenanigans entered into by the prosecution at Camp Zeist to obfuscate this clear and compelling evidence so that the judges didn't understand it.
  • The concealing from the court of the major discrepancy between the PCB fragment PT35/b and the Thüring-made timer components it was supposed to originate from.
  • The grooming of Tony Gauci to get him to produce statements that could be represented as identifying Megrahi as the man who bought the clothes in the bomb suitcase - essentially the police were trying to get these statements rather than trying to ascertain whether Megrahi was really likely to have been the clothes purchaser.
The detectives have been working on this material for almost three years. The report surely must be due soon. Kenny MacAskill has been trying to leak the story that the report will declare that the bomb started its journey on Malta. The committee of JFM can't see how that is possible unless the Sandwood detectives have been got at in some way, and we don't think they have been got at.

So we'll see.
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Old 5th January 2017, 06:24 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
No, go after the retired officers lump sum and pension. I think just making it clear that is at risk would make officers behave, especially senior officers with only a few years left.
I am not sur how legal this is especially where it is a contributory pension. This is equivalent to a very big fine. I think that it should be the result of a criminal process not some form of administrative discipline. If you can prove malfeasance the they should have an appropriate penalty from a court which might be a fine or imprisonment. Alternatively the employer could sue for the money that the employer had paid out in damages, but again this should be via a proper legal process.

The public interest in limiting this option is it would be a method of silencing or punishing whistleblowers. Such penalties should be enforced via and independent and judicial process not a behind closed doors administrative process.
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Old 6th January 2017, 05:30 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I am not sur how legal this is especially where it is a contributory pension. This is equivalent to a very big fine. I think that it should be the result of a criminal process not some form of administrative discipline. If you can prove malfeasance the they should have an appropriate penalty from a court which might be a fine or imprisonment. Alternatively the employer could sue for the money that the employer had paid out in damages, but again this should be via a proper legal process.

The public interest in limiting this option is it would be a method of silencing or punishing whistleblowers. Such penalties should be enforced via and independent and judicial process not a behind closed doors administrative process.
I mean just as you say. If in the future a retired police officer is found to have caused a miscarriage of justice whilst a serving officer, it should be straightforward for the victim to sue the officer for damages in a civil hearing. So the police would have a duty to still investigate retired officers and not let retirement be a means of escape.
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Old 14th January 2017, 09:45 AM   #55
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There was the case of the little girl Riley Fox in America in 2004 where her father falsely confessed to the murder after third degree methods were used on him by the police and he was then imprisoned. It was a high profile murder case at the time. Then the real culprit was eventually caught, including the real culprit's DNA, and the father was released from prison. Then there was deafening silence form the mainstream media about the case in order to avoid political embarrassment.

There is some background information to all this from an old Huffington Post article:

Quote:
In June of 2004, the body of 3-year-old Riley Fox was pulled from a creek near her home in Will County. As police attempted to build a case against Riley’s father, evidence that could have helped them find the real killer was right under their noses.

Scott Eby, a jailed sex offender who allegedly confessed to Riley’s murder last month, left a pair of mud-covered shoes at Forked Creek, where he allegedly raped and killed Fox, NBC Chicago reports.

From NBC’s coverage:

Police collected the shoes and put them into evidence but never followed up. They focused their case instead on the girl’s father, Kevin Fox who confessed to her murder. Charges were later dropped thanks to DNA evidence that excluded him.
“Sheriff’s office did miss the clue, but so did the FBI and the state’s attorney’s office,” a spokesman for the Will County Sheriff’s department said.
Chicago Tribune reporter Hal Dardick, who covered the Fox murder case for years, told WGN that the shoes were not the only clue overlooked by misguided investigators. Dardick said that on the day Riley’s body was found, police were called to Eby’s home when someone there reported he was not behaving like himself.

“When police talked to him, Scott Wayne Eby was vomiting in the home and asked, ‘Have you found that little girl yet?’ “ Dardick told WGN.

Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas told NBC that the department plans to bring in outside investigators to review how the case was handled.

“I apologize to [Kevin Fox] and the family,” Kaupas said. “I don’t know if he would ever see things our way, but I would try to explain... what kind of ball might have been dropped in this part of the investigation or that part of the investigation and what we are going to do to fix it.”

A lawyer for the Fox family told NBC that Sheriff Kaupas had nothing to do with the “miscarriage of justice” in the case.

Eby was serving two consecutive seven-year sentences when he was charged in Riley’s murder. He allegedly told authorities that he saw the child sleeping on the couch when he broke in to the Fox home and kidnapped her before raping and murdering her.

Prosecutors have not yet determined whether they will seek the death penalty in the case.

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Old 14th January 2017, 10:29 AM   #56
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Riley_Fox

"Fox's attorney Kathleen Zellner was responsible for discovering that DNA evidence existed and getting the State to test it."

That should never have been needed, just as with the Peter Manuel case in Scotland, thank goodness for a defence who were proactive and forced the police to behave responsibly.
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Old 14th January 2017, 10:31 AM   #57
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On the subject of the wrongly acquitted, what's the general view of John Bodkin Adams?
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Old 23rd January 2017, 09:06 AM   #58
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I think all this cyber fraud is a miscarriage of justice where pensioners, and others, have their life savings looted, and others lose their businesses, by giving their bank details to con artists from abroad. The British police just meekly say it's not their jurisdiction because these criminal gangs come from West Africa, and Eastern Europe, and India. I just think Interpol needs to up its game about all this. The banks used to have bank inspectors to prevent bank fraud
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Old 23rd January 2017, 09:18 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
"Criminal waste of time: Suspects walk free as 10,000 cases a year are dropped by court prosecutors due to insufficient evidence
Isn't that a good thing?
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Old 23rd January 2017, 03:41 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Isn't that a good thing?
It is, but it suggests the police are rolling the dice on poor quality cases in the hope that they can squeeze a suspect into taking a plea before the matter gets to court. Or of course that they can get a jury that will assume the authorities wouldn't put an innocent person on trial and convict, which regrettably seems to have been a successful strategy in the past.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 06:34 PM   #61
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It's about the stress and the expense and the lost lifetime and the residual suspicions that often seem to cling to the once-charged. Being wrongly charged and tried for a serious offence can be a huge "punishment" even if the case is dropped or there is a not guilty verdict.

Obviously not all not-guilty verdicts are cases where the accused should never have been brought to trial in the first place, but a fair number of them are.
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Old 24th January 2017, 07:44 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Isn't that a good thing?
They should not have been reported by the police in the first place. That is the police going for "detections".
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Old 24th January 2017, 07:54 AM   #63
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I watched this last night

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder...Sunday_Morning

"Murder on a Sunday Morning (French: Un coupable idéal) is a documentary film directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. Its subject is the Brenton Butler case, a criminal case in which a fifteen-year-old boy was wrongfully accused of murder. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 74th Academy Awards in 2002.[1]
Brenton Butler was arrested and tried for the 2000 murder of a tourist in Jacksonville, Florida. The prosecution's case relied heavily upon a positive identification made by the victim's husband, and on Butler's confession, which the teen claimed was coerced. The film follows Butler's defense team building their case for his innocence."

The trial coverage was cringe worthy as each of the police so called "detectives" revealed just how little enquiry they had done. Butler was seen by a patrol officer after a look out request had been put out to trace a male. He was black and that was about as much of a similarity he had with the actual perpetrator. He was taken back to the murder scene, and informal ID held where the victims husband pointed him out as the one. He was punched and make to sign a confession and that was the prosecution case.

No attempt was made to check his alibi of being at home too far away to have been involved, or where he was found also being too far away. A purse that had been stolen and recovered, also too far away for Butler to have dumped it, was not fingerprinted. When that did happen after the not guilty verdict, it had a print and that was the actual perpetrator, who was subsequently convicted.

That poor boy was put through hell and at least got compensation after suing the police.

There are too many police officers and prosecutors who rush to a judgement and presume guilt. They should learn that proof means it not just has to look like a duck, it also has to quack and walk like a duck before it proven to be a duck.
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Old 25th January 2017, 09:29 AM   #64
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A terrible problem is presented by a pre-war Liverpool UK case. A man was convicted of murder and condemned to death. There can be no doubt that the verdict of the jury was based, not upon the evidence given at the trial, but what they had read in the newspapers about the preliminary proceedings and upon the usual kind of gossip. The accused had little money, but influential friends. He appealed, and the Court of Criminal Appeal acquitted him, setting aside the verdict of the jury.

But the costs of the defence at the trial and the appeal came to £1526 11s. 6d. What would have happened had the £1526 11s 6d been unavailable? Would the man have been hanged? There is,at the least, an awful risk that he would have been.
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Old 25th January 2017, 05:51 PM   #65
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I don't think that's what this thread is about. If someone was convicted then self-evidently there was some basis to the prosecution and it wasn't frivolous. Nessie is talking about the disruption to the lives of people who are charged but either see the charges dropped before coming to court, or are acquitted.

Sometimes they're not even charged. Think Chris Jefferies. Mind you, he ended up completely vindicated and considerably richer, so arguably it did him a favour. But not everyone is so lucky. The thread is talking about investigators who go after the wrong person on a whim, or a hunch, or a rush to judgement, when there isn't even a coherent case. The person isn't convicted but the consequences can still be very serious for them.
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Old 25th January 2017, 06:47 PM   #66
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I see the point, fine though it be, because in my opinion the prosecutions of Arthur Thomas and Ewan MacDonald were wholly frivolous but remarkably similar. Both had bullet proof alibis and motives manufactured for them, yet the jury got one right and one wrong.
The police and prosecution sinned equally both times

MacDonald's parents,son, wife and sister in law's lives were indelibly stained just as Thomas' wife and extended family's were.
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Old 26th January 2017, 09:25 AM   #67
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I find this surveillance society can be disturbing to the mind and lead to miscarriages of justice when found not guilty. By a secret order, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to intercept communications without any judicial warrant, thus bypassing Congress.

There is a bit about this matter in the Rule of Law book by former British judge Tom Bingham:

Quote:
The greatly increased level of surveillance in Britain is. of course.made possible by the notable technological advances witnessed in recent years. But it seems clear that the urge to know and record more and more about members of the public has been strengthened by experience of 9/11 and the bombings of July 2005. The main reaction of the public to this steady encroachment by the state into what had been regarded as the private domain of the citizen has been one of apathy, save in relation to the proposal for a universal identity card carrying extensive personal biometric data.. This apathy may be because the end (preventing terrorist violence, catching criminals) is thought to justify the means; it may be because most people are unaware of what is happening; or it may be because surveillance being covert, no one knows that they are being watched, their movements recorded, their communications intercepted or monitored.
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Old 26th January 2017, 11:06 AM   #68
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This is exactly the kind of instance I am referring to;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7326736.stm

"Simon Bunce lost his job, and his father cut off contact, when he was arrested after an ID fraudster used his credit card details on a child porn website......Mr Bunce was able to use the US Freedom of Information Act to obtain a complete copy of all of the relevant material, including databases, access logs and credit card information, together with detailed information of the webmasters, which allowed him to find out how his credit card details had been used.

Each computer has a unique internet protocol number, or IP address, which identifies the specific computer and its geographic whereabouts whenever it is used to access the internet.

Mr Bunce discovered that the computer used to enter his credit card details was in Jakarta, Indonesia......"

That should have been checked prior to arresting Bunce. It would have even negated the need to arrest him, a visit to take a statement that he had never been and was not in Indonesia at the time would kill that enquiry off and save time and money for the police.
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Old 9th February 2017, 04:08 AM   #69
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There is an interesting quote about miscarriages of justice from a book called Injustice by former Boulder, Colorado, cop Robert Whitson, published in 2012:

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Are innocent people sentenced to prison for crimes they did not commit? Yes! This is why it is extremely important for criminal investigators and prosecutors to maintain an open-mind and consider all of the information.

According to the Innocence Project (2011), 266 inmates have been exonerated via DNA testing. These wrongly convicted inmates served an average of 13 years before they were exonerated. The innocence Project typically gets involved with the most serious types of crimes, such as murder and rape, where there is DNA evidence to test. How many other people were convicted of less serious crimes, or crimes where DNA evidence was unavailable.

Is it possible to convict an innocent person of a serious crime? Yes, even though it should never happen in America.. Consider the case of Timothy masters, who spent nine years in prison for the murder of Peggy Hettrick in Fort Collins, Colorado, during 1987, before DNA evidence proved he was innocent. According to Perri and Lichtenwald (2009), numerous mistakes were made during the prosecution of Timothy Masters, including "a prosecution that ignored all other evidentiary considerations, resulting in the conviction of an innocent person." (p. 67) And while Timothy Masters was being persecuted, the real killer eluded justice.
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Old 9th February 2017, 10:43 AM   #70
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I do think the UK has taken a number of steps to minimise miscarriage of justice. There is much better regulation of forensic science, (although I think abolishing the UK forensic science service was an error). The PACE act requiring recording of interviews combined with the PEACE approach to interviewing suspects reduces risks of false confessions. The biggest issue now I think is the economics of ensuring an adequate defence. So significant improvements; but more to be done. I do think other countries e.g. the US would gain by emulating the idea of forensic science regulation and improved rules and structure around interviewing suspects.

The use of major crime teams might also be useful, a number of cases seem to be due to small forces e.g. rural Sheriff dept trying to run a major investigation they do not have the resources or experience to do. (Or finance?)
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Old 25th February 2017, 09:55 AM   #71
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There was an interesting case about all this in the UK from a book called Hanged in Error by a solicitor, Leslie Hale, published in 1961:

Quote:
Official complacency was given another jolt in 1953. In October, a young police officer on duty in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, was severely attacked by three men and left gravely, and it seemed mortally, injured. The officer recovered. In January 1954 three men were brought to trial, found guilty and sentenced to ten, seven, and four years' imprisonment respectively. Had the officer succumbed to his injuries, one or more of them would certainly have hanged. Doubts crept in. The prison 'grapevine' whispered the names of the real culprits, one of whom confessed. The Home Secretary entrusted the inquiry to two distinguished officers of Scotland Yard who, pursuing it with commendable determination and ability, established the innocence of the convicted men.

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Old 23rd March 2017, 03:06 AM   #72
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There is a problem in that if you get accused of murder or manslaughter it can land you in financial ruin. There are at least two cases in America where women were accused of murdering their babies. One woman was imprisoned, and another was put on death row. The trouble is that the police are not medically qualified. Only a few medical specialists understand rare genetic disorders which applied in both cases. Fortunately, both women are now out of prison. There needs to be a careful investigation.
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Old 29th March 2017, 02:44 AM   #73
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There is a bit of legal waffle about this sort of thing in a British book called English Justice published in 1932, and written by a solicitor:

Quote:
Mr Oliver Baldwin, in his book The Questing Beast, on page 42 describes his youthful astonishment at finding that a man awaiting trial by Court Martial was deliberately refused access to the Manual of Military Law and King's Regulations, to which he had a right. I know exactly how Mr. Baldwin felt. Since I have quoted him it is well to add that I am a Conservative in politics. Those who wish to retain our institutions must reform them. It is the revolutionary party that profits by abuses.

Before coming to a decision as to whether the evils of which I have written are widespread or not, let the reader consider the probabilities. it cannot be denied that magistrates are drawn largely from political partisans, that they have no judicial training, and that they are usually well advanced in years when appointed. The great majority of defendants belong to the poorer classes, are ignorant of law and procedure, inarticulate and undefended.. there is admittedly insufficient time to get through the vastly increased work thrown on the police courts. Is it likely that justice will be done? A large proportion of the clerks who advise the magistrates are themselves in private practice, often as prosecutors for the police. And against the decision of a Court so constituted appeals , for the vast majority, practically impossible.
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Old 29th March 2017, 03:31 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is a problem in that if you get accused of murder or manslaughter it can land you in financial ruin. There are at least two cases in America where women were accused of murdering their babies. One woman was imprisoned, and another was put on death row. The trouble is that the police are not medically qualified. Only a few medical specialists understand rare genetic disorders which applied in both cases. Fortunately, both women are now out of prison. There needs to be a careful investigation.
You think the police imprisoned these women?
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Old 29th March 2017, 03:42 AM   #75
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Which cases and which disorders

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is a problem in that if you get accused of murder or manslaughter it can land you in financial ruin. There are at least two cases in America where women were accused of murdering their babies. One woman was imprisoned, and another was put on death row. The trouble is that the police are not medically qualified. Only a few medical specialists understand rare genetic disorders which applied in both cases. Fortunately, both women are now out of prison. There needs to be a careful investigation.
The case of Patricia Stallings occurred to me. Which cases do you have in mind?
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Old 29th March 2017, 08:34 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Chris_Halkides View Post
The case of Patricia Stallings occurred to me. Which cases do you have in mind?
I did have the Patricia Stallings case in mind. There was another high profile case in America of a black woman who was put on death row, which was on one of these American true crime TV shows recently. I should have noted her name. it turned out that there was a rare genetic kidney disorder in her family history, and when she had children later on, after she was released from prison, one of her new sons had the same rare kidney disorder.

I fully appreciate that there are horrific child abuse and baby abuse murders. There was the famous Baby P case in London in the past few years. I don't understand the mentality of the perps in those cases. It's just I think that the police and lawyers are not medically qualified, or are social workers. I had my doubts about that Midyette case in America a few years ago, though very few people agreed with me at the time. The court case in the Midyette case was just a mass of emotion and prejudice.
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Old 26th April 2017, 09:13 AM   #77
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There was a definite miscarriage of justice in America in the Elkins case. The wrong man was arrested and imprisoned when it was later proved to have been done by a next door neighbour.

There is some background to the case at:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006//0...man-freed.html

This is part of it:

Quote:
On Nov. 10, 2001, her crusade leads Melinda to the door of the sister with whom she used to be best friends but with whom she has not spoken for years: Brooke's mother. At her side is Martin Yant, a private investigator specializing in wrongful convictions whose work has already exonerated 10 prisoners. (In his book "Presumed Guilty," Yant states his belief that 10,000 people in America are wrongfully convicted every year.)

The Dayton Daily News reports, "Yant can tick off a laundry list of other problems with the [Elkins] case: sloppy police work, haphazard investigation, authorities rushing to judgment, incomplete forensics.

The bloody print left on the doorjamb at Judy Johnson's house was destroyed when police tried to lift it. Other items collected as evidence were never tested for latent prints. Judy Johnson fought for her life, but it doesn't look as if anybody bothered to test her fingernail scrapings."

As the sisters reconcile, Yant is allowed to gently question Brooke.
When he asks whether she still believes Elkins is guilty, she immediately replies, "I've always had doubts."
Again, Brooke's statement precipitates a chain of events. Other family members become convinced of Elkins' innocence. In May 2002, Brooke recants her testimony but the court rejects her recantation as being caused by family pressure.

Meanwhile, on April 28, 2002, a story in the Akron Beacon Journal catches Melinda's eye. It opens, "Earl Eugene Mann…to stand trial, facing a possible life prison sentence for raping three little girls."

Mann, the boyfriend of Tonia Brasiel, has a long history of violent crime but the police had dismissed him as a suspect when they focused in on Elkins.

The path to exoneration that ensues is circuitous enough to be a Law and Order episode. With the assistance of the Ohio Innocence Project and fighting an intransigent prosecutor, Melinda arranges DNA testing that excludes her husband from the crime scene. Nevertheless, on July 14, 2005, Elkins is denied a new trial.

Finally, a state attorney who is pursuing the Republican nomination for governor takes an interest and brings both political pressure and media attention to bear on the case. Only when Mann confesses to the crime does the State of Ohio admit its mistake.

Many morals can be drawn from this case. For example, accusations should not be immediately believed, especially if they are inconsistent or contradicted by evidence.

The moral being drawn here, however, is that the original victims of a crime -- in this case, Brooke and her grandmother -- are further victimized when a system does not respect the rigorous safeguards intended to protect the accused.

It was not merely Elkins and his family who suffered but also anyone who sought justice. The true beneficiary of the lowered standards was Mann who was free to rape other children while Elkins sat in prison for his crime.
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Old 26th April 2017, 03:19 PM   #78
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This thread seems to be going quite a long way off topic. The OP specifically set out to look at the effects of being charged and tried for an offence you didn't commit, on people who were found not guilty at that trial.

It has degenerated into nothing more than another place for people to post about convictions they believe were miscarriages of justice. But this thread isn't about convictions, it's about non-convictions.

Like, as I said, Lamin Fhimah who was found not guilty of the Lockerbie bombing but spent eight years under house arrest, lost his job and his business, and was then actually imprisoned on remand for over two years before being acquitted. In that time his picture and life story were plastered across the media as being one of "the Lockerbie bombers". And yet it's just "oh well, here's your fare back to Libya Mr. Fhimah, no hard feelings, eh?
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Old 26th April 2017, 06:58 PM   #79
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Duke lacrosse three

The Duke lacrosse case is a false accusation of rape and kidnapping from 2006-2007 in Durham, North Carolina. Two of the three players had their mugshots on the cover of Newsweek, and the New York Times had about a hundred articles. One problem with a high profile case such as this one is that some people remain convinced of guilt, or semi-guilt, no matter what. I still run across intelligent people who say, "something must have happened in that bathroom," not realizing that they are quoting former DA Michael Nifong. The burden of proof lies with the person saying that something happened to specify what that something is and what evidence exists to support it. However, here is my argument for the legal non-guilt and the factual innocence of the three players. I will try to make it as short as I can.

Lack of inculpatory evidence
One piece of evidence against the three is that their pictures were picked out in a line-up. This sounds damning until one examines the particulars of this procedure. Gary L. Wells and colleagues wrote, “Furthermore, a proper identification procedure would have likely shown that the victim-witness was not credible and, therefore, absent other compelling evidence, charges would not have been filed.” These authors also wrote, “It should be apparent to almost anyone that the identification procedures used by the investigators on the Duke case were terribly flawed.” Ms. Mangum had consumed alcohol and flexeril that evening. Her contemporaneous physical descriptions of the three men who allegedly assaulted her did not match the three accused players.

There has been much more confusion than there should have been about the results of Ms. Mangum’s medical examination. Nothing other than diffuse swelling of her vaginal walls was out of the ordinary, and this might have been the result of consensual sexual activity. However, SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy muddied the waters, especially later on when the case was starting to fall apart. Therefore, the two main pieces of evidence against the three are weak to the point of carrying essentially zero probative power.

Exculpatory evidence
No DNA was found from any Duke lacrosse player after Ms. Mangum’s examination. DNA was found from other men. The lack of DNA after an alleged condomless assault would be surprising in its own right, but it is all the more improbable given that Ms. Mangum was taken into custody not long after the alleged assault. If one maintains that Ms. Mangum was assaulted, it would make more sense to blame the men whose DNA was found in the rape examination kit. There were no fingerprints from Collin Finnerty in the bathroom. I don't know whether anyone looked for fingerprints from Reade Seligmann.

Ready Seligmann was photographed by a security camera at an ATM a mile away from the house at the time the alleged assault occurred. This excludes him, unless one wishes to twist the timeline. If the case had come to trial, Collin Finnerty would have presented cell phone evidence that he was away from the house and on the move at that time. I am not an expert in cell phone evidence and cannot evaluate its strength, yet cell phone evidence can be very helpful to the defense (e.g., the arson case of Frank Esposito). Because David Evans was on of the renters of the house, I presume he was present at 610 N. Buchanan the whole time. My speculation is that he would have presented an alibi defense involving other attendees of the party. As an aside, juries sometimes accept flawed eyewitness testimony or a dubious confession over alibi witnesses. They may be assuming that the defendant’s friends or family is lying. However, not every family member or friend is willing to do so, either because they don’t want to protect illegal behavior or because they fear being charged themselves.

The lack of reliable inculpatory evidence should have kept them from being indicted. The existence of at least two kinds of exculpatory evidence should leave little doubt in anyone's mind that AG Cooper got it right in declaring them innocent.
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Old 27th April 2017, 06:57 AM   #80
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But they were convicted, weren't they? The thread is supposed to be about people whose lives were destroyed even though they were acquitted.
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