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Tags !MOD BOX WARNING! , Amanda Knox , Italy cases , Meredith Kercher , murder cases , Raffaele Sollecito

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Old Yesterday, 05:41 PM   #1201
LondonJohn
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Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by Bill Williams View Post
His multi-millionaire dad was bludgeoned to death in 2011. He made the mistake of being the last one known to have seen his dad alive.

After being convicted in a jury-trial, that conviction was set aside because the jury had been improperly advised by the judge.

In the second trial, eight years after the ugly murder, the judge-alone trial finds that the prosecution has not proven its case.

This is the second exoneration in Canada in two months.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-b...ilty-1.5215559

There are some in Canada who are quite committed to Oland's guilt, and are calling the verdict not "not guilty", but that the judge had wanted to have reconvicted, but had one or two things missing to move it past, "beyond a reasonable doubt". Indeed the judge didn't believe Oland to be beyond suspicion.

Oland's supporters accuse the police and prosecutors of tunnel-vision, proven by the acquittal.


I know nothing about this case in any detail, but I wanted to make a general jurisprudence point, and it's this:

People who factually committed a crime can potentially be fairly and justly acquitted of that crime through the courts.

(Note again that I'm in no way referring to the above case specifically....)

It's entirely possible that even if Person A truly did (for example) murder Person B, there may not have been (for many plausible reasons) enough evidence obtained and presented in court to prove A's guilt BARD. And if that's the case, then - assuming of course that A does not confess to the murder - a fair trial must acquit A.

And with that in mind, it's also therefore perfectly possible for a factually-guilty person to be wrongly convicted - even if that seems somewhat counterintuitive. And if that is the situation, then it's similarly a noble endeavour to argue the case for an overturning of that conviction.

In fact, I suspect that this sort of situation might possibly have played out here in the UK several years ago, in a notorious murder case. I played a (very very small) part in the genesis of the campaign to promote the case for the wrongful conviction of Barry George for the very high-profile murder of TV personality Jill Dando. Now, George was (and is) by any standard an unpleasant, creepy fantasist with a history of stalking and hassling women on the street. And personally, I believe there is a reasonable possibility that he did factually shoot Jill Dando dead (though many have argued that his personality was too disordered, chaotic and low-intelligence to have planned and executed the ambush and escape).

However, it was very clear that the evidence of his guilt presented at trial was in no way sufficient to meet the BARD standard. And on that measure - the only measure that matters in the context of criminal justice - George ought to have been acquitted. Eventually his case did get (re-)referred to the Court of Appeal, which quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial in which he was justly acquitted.

On the other hand, people who factually did NOT commit a crime should never be fairly/justly convicted in court - for reasons in logic which ought to be obvious.

In comparing the Barry George case with the Knox/Sollecito case, there's one important differentiator (though of course there are many, many more differentiators as well). It's to do with the "if not him/them, then who?" issue. In the case of Barry George, one is still stuck with this question: if George - who certainly had the means and opportunity (including practical use of firearms), and who was provably in very close proximity to the murder scene - did not shoot Jill Dando, then who did? It's actually rather hard to come up with genuinely feasible alternatives (for example, I personally significantly discount the "Serbian hitman" or organised crime possibilities). But in the Knox/Sollecito case, we absolutely don't have any issue with the "if not them, then who?" problem. Because all of the known credible, reliable evidence is not only consistent with, but actually points strongly to, the conclusion that Guede alone attacked and killed Meredith Kercher.
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 PM   #1202
LondonJohn
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I'm going to butt in here because I heard an item about this on NPR this morning that made me sick.

The firings were denounced by leaders of a Fraternal Order of Police lodge that represents rank-and-file Chicago officers.

"Your job is not to fall to the pressure of the media or the radical police haters but is rather to give each officer a fair hearing," Patrick Murray, the lodge's first vice-president, told the board members after they opened the floor for public comment.

"It is obvious that this Police Board has outserved its usefulness," Murray said. "The FOP has made it our top priority that this board be dissolved. We do not have to agree to participate in this type of process as labor law allows us to proceed by way of arbitration," an apparent reference to discipline-appeal provisions that are standard parts of union contracts.

This is one big reason we have so many problems with police: unions that are more interested in job security and avoiding consequences of bad policing than in protecting the public.

Absolutely. And this is an issue which has first- and second-order iterations. The first-order iteration is that of having a body which (supposedly) holds law enforcement agents and agencies to account. And the second-order iteration is around the independence, impartiality, public-service remit and accountability of that body itself.

In the case of the police in particular, the matter is so often clouded by these accountability bodies affording much too much allowance to police (mis)conduct. These bodies all-too-often take the view that the police are doing an extremely difficult job in extremely difficult circumstances (which is often absolutely true), that the police have to make instant decisions "on their feet", that the police have to operate with their hands tied by regulations and the law (when those whom they are policing have no such constraints), and that in some way the police have to "game the system" to some degree in order to get results and protect the public etc.

BUT..... of course this sort of approach can result in these "accountability" bodies unfairly defending and clearing police officers and forces. Which in turn tends to give police an ever-increasing feeling of near-invincibility in the knowledge that it's unlikely that they will ever get criticised (let alone sanctioned or indicted) for their methods.

And in judicially-backward countries such as Italy, these sorts of bodies don't even properly exist in the first place. I believe that the way the police and prosecutors acted in the Knox/Sollecito case - most notably in the mass phone-taps, the unlawful pretence of treating Knox and Sollecito as "witnesses" when it was clear they were being investigated as suspects, the choreographed "buckling" interrogations on the 5th/6th November, and the unlawful denial of legal counsel until just moments before their first court arraignments (using legislation that was clearly designed purely for organised crime and terrorism suspects) - was directly related to the fact that the police and prosecutors in this case a) had done things this way for a long time with no negative repercussions to themselves, and b) felt safe in their understanding that they could do the same again in this case.
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Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM   #1203
Stacyhs
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Quote:
I believe that the way the police and prosecutors acted in the Knox/Sollecito case - most notably in the mass phone-taps, the unlawful pretence of treating Knox and Sollecito as "witnesses" when it was clear they were being investigated as suspects, the choreographed "buckling" interrogations on the 5th/6th November, and the unlawful denial of legal counsel until just moments before their first court arraignments (using legislation that was clearly designed purely for organised crime and terrorism suspects) - was directly related to the fact that the police and prosecutors in this case a) had done things this way for a long time with no negative repercussions to themselves, and b) felt safe in their understanding that they could do the same again in this case.
I agree 100%!
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