Prosecutors have the ability to not file cases at all. They also have the ability to offer diversion programs, wherein accused criminals can voluntarily agree to community-based sanctions/supervision in exchange for their cases not being filed. These do exist in some jurisdictions today, but tend to be offered to a very small percentage of defendants.
In short: if they really cared about ruining lives, they’d stop trying so hard to ruin lives (in all but the most serious cases). Changing the Miranda warning may be a very small step forward, but getting prosecutors on board is the only way to make a real difference.
Not claiming that we shouldn't do more work here but the Miranda warning changes are in tandem with other improvements here.
If anything, King County's judicial system doesn't need this kind of help, yet I saw the high budget of the police force when I lived there a block away from the station with its top-of-the-line equipment, education programs, and community involvement. We should be trying to bring this kind of judicial reform and fairness to areas that really need like it like the south-side of Chicago, where there are at least two murders a day.
Are we certain that any metrics communicate anything meaningful about "successful" performance in the realm of prosecution?
"If they actually cared about X, they'd Y!"
I think what you mean to say is: "If they really cared about X, and only X, and had no political/financial/strategic impediments, they'd do Y! Therefore they clearly don't care about X."
Let's not have the perfect be the enemy of the good. This is a good thing, let's encourage more of it, yeah?
That's their job.
* Legislators create the law. (legislative branch)
* Prosecutors sue for enforcement of the law. (executive branch)
* Judgement to use JUDGEment in applying the law. (judical branch)
If you have sucky laws or indescriminate judges, fix those. Don't cast dispersions on prosecutors for prosecuting laws they didn't write, for sentences they don't make.
Not maintaining the balance of powers is how you wind up with out-of-whack and mismanaged governments.
EDIT: Prosecutors are the inverse of defense attornies. Why is the DA defending this scumbag of a human being?!?! Because that's their job: provide the best possible defense for accused criminals. Likewise, prosecutors provide the best possible prosecution. Denegrating either one for their role is misunderstanding their functions in the judical system.
There's absolutely no social good coming out of such behavior, and it should be pointed out and castigated.
And yes, this does, in fact, happen, because prosecutors are effectively rewarded for successful prosecutions, regardless of the false positive rate.
Curious: By that token, how do you feel about DA's trying to win cases on legal technicalities. Are they living up to the expectations of their job?
There are also pragmatic issues; prosecutorial accountability matters even in adversarial systems (accountability not in the sense of dealing with prosecutorial misconduct, but to ensure that prosecutors act consistently and in the public interest). Prosecutors aren't or shouldn't be free agents.
And be clear that was never the case. Prosecutorial discretion is and has almost always been the case.
I could just as easily claim that attorneys in the US are supposed to be about upholding the spirit, as much as the letter, of the law.
That said, if we're focusing on the most effective change like downandout, we should be changing the orders, not expecting each person to each adjust them, hopefully in appropriate ways.
It is idealistic to think you can make perfect laws that are easily understood by anyone such that training isn't necessary.
Or to be more exact it's very hard for a DA to be elected when they appear to be lenient on crime.
The prosecution and the policing parts of the criminal justice system can quite easily be influenced through the popular vote.
Where do you think judges come from? A judge who doesn't believe all the bullshit that prosecutors believe, is a rare judge indeed.
Their job is to see justice for the harm to society which is not benefited by sending innocent people to prison.
Give it a few more years...
Other good things: if police don't think they can make a good enough case, it will free them up to focus on more serious crimes. Youth won't be placed in the same holding cell as rapists, murderers etc. Less public resources spent on keeping people in jail.
I've seen on more than a few applications in the last couple years, the question has changed to "have you ever been arrested for or convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors?"
Scary stuff. Once you've been booked, you might as well be guilty.
A truly healthy system would not allow an overzealous DA to get far.
It's missing the explicit warning that "what you say can and will be used against you in the court of law." I think they should add a clause to the end stating "and they can use this information against you to get you in trouble."
This video is always relevant when the subject of talking to police comes up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE
But it definitely won't be used in your favor so keep silent and never answer questions from law enforcement without a lawyer present.
If the language got "friendlier", I think the same thing would happen over the span of years-- again, if it was said exactly the same way, every time.
Of course, if the cop mixes it up and uses different words and intonation, now they're opening themselves up to liability.
That is sadly not a typical viewpoint, particularly among conservatives.
Heck, look at Joe Arpaio, who recently got pardoned for unconstitutionally targeting Hispanic people who haven't been convicted of any crime. Which party was generally in favor of this, and which party was strongly against? Again, the same parties as the first case.
The conservative movement in America — even a lot of people in the "small government" basket of the movement — has a huge blind spot when it comes to the police.
Which doesn't mean a lot of "conservatives" aren't blind to the police. But there are a large number of them who do realize the vast overreach of law enforcement, while trying to understand the best way to ensure our streets remain safe.
Look at Obama and title nine where kangaroo courts violate due process on a national scale, violating the constitutional rights of american citizens no less. You can't simply point at the worst actors in a group of people and say they represent the whole, but I'd like to point out that Obama was elected via a national majority of democrats while Joe Arpaio was elected via the votes of a single district.
And while I agree with you about Title IX kangaroo courts, I think that's kind of a strained comparison both in terms of the specifics of that situation and in how broadly it seems to indicate support for "tough" law enforcement.
Arpaio was convicted on contempt of court specifically over unconstitutionally depriving people of their due process rights. Insofar as anyone can have any opinion about his case, and the associated pardon, that issue is at the front and center of it. Thus, anyone expressing support for Arpaio is necessarily expressing disdain for due process.
As Cyril Figgis said, "It's like comparing apples to Nazi oranges."
This is, of course, such an obvious softball to those ready to trot out "no true Scotsman" that even mentioning it seems trite. I've known plenty that would argue "if you got arrested, you're probably guilty of something" that I would consider to be conservative. But you're probably arguing the division between "cranky old people that wish it were 1954 again" (the kind I'm thinking of) and small government/low tax/personal responsibility kind of conservative.
I'm sympathetic to the libertarian cause, even ran for office as a Libertarian, and at this point I can't conceive of voting Republican without taking a shower.
There are some differences, but the point I was making wasn't about the defense position itself as the position of defense relative to other government priorities.
> the neoconservative movement is much more vocal and would seem much more counterproductive
Neoconservatism can be viewed (at least in it's overt priorities; the concrete methods often seem to contradict this, at least in the short term) as aggressive exportation of the kind of government priorities on which right-libertarians and the broader right tend to agree.
Libertarians are, it seems to me, more united in the role of the state vis-a-vis it's own citizenry than it's role vis-a-vis other states, and there seem to be both nationalist (our government should provide us liberty, but maximize our collective position where dealing with outsiders) and internationalist (our government must as a matter of fundamental principle reflect our libertarian ideals, and so must all governments) strains of libertarianism that are compatible with the kind of aggressive foreign policy that neoconservatism embraces.
Using the term “conservative” to refer to a well-defined ideology rather than a self-identification isn't inherently No True Scotsman.
(In fact the “everyone who self identifies as a conservative is a conservative” approach is often used to make arguments about a defined ideology based on people who self-identify as “conservative” but don't adhere to the features of the ideology under discussion, which is he fallacy of equivocation .)
Correct it isn't inherently that when the topic is the ideology, but when the topic is x group of people it is. This thread isn't about conservative ideology, it's about how people who identify as conservatives feel about criminals and due process so pulling out the "actual" conservatives line is no true Scottsman here. It's a bullshit excuse to avoid facing the hypocrisy of what people who call themselves conservatives believe.
Conservatives support Joe Arpio, conservatives claim to support due process, these two things conflict; Joe Arpio doesn't support due process, he robs people of it. If you support Arpio, you do not support due process.
I consider those people as more GOP enthusiasts than conservatives. An example of a true conservative would be someone like Tucker Carlson or Rand Paul. It's sort of like how antifa doesn't represent the majority of democrat voters I have encountered. They are a slim minority of loud voices that muddy the waters.
That is rather an understatement. It's not just they don't represent the majority - many of them are, in fact, opposed to said majority. Google "liberals get the bullet too".
It would be fascinating if they represented even a minority of the democratic voters you've encountered. They don't seem like they'd be even a statistical blip on the radar.
If someone is promoting something very obviously wrong, they're usually making money off of it. Jeff Sessions, of course, rescinded the order to phase out private prisons. Citizens, such as yourself, can have your own ideas on what it means to be tough on crime. For politicians, it just means they want to trade lives for money.
>But brain scientists say young people often lack the perspective and judgment, especially in the moment, to know what’s in their best interest.
This is why they made a version that goes into more detail.
From the article, "We put kids in jail and that could ruin their life, so we need to be really careful about when and how we do that.” This is a very important point and I hope they do not stop at clarifying Miranda rights. Extending the approach of helping youths lacking 'perspective and judgement', I'd hope for further investigation into the effects of reducing sentences of minor crimes for youths as well.
>It’s OK if you don’t want to talk to me.
They completely left the part out how whatever you say to the officer can be used as evidence in court (and perhaps against you). No kid is going to pick up on that implication.
EDIT: No idea why I'm getting downvoted. Even with the rest of the text, it DOES NOT imply that whatever they say to the officer could cause them to lose their case in the future.
Seems pretty clear to me, but I suppose they don't mention that telling the judge could be bad for you.
"If you do want to talk to me, I can tell the juvenile court judge or adult court judge and Probation Officer what you tell me."
All kinds of people think they can talk their way out of an arrest. Unsavvy people might interpret that statement as saying their excuses and explanations will passed up to people who will listen sympathetically or at least could be convinced. They don't realize their statements can only cause them harm. I think that kind of misconception would be especially true for juveniles.
Of course the problem is you really don't know what the officer thinks. But you may be able to pick up on that if you are good at reading body language.
Please watch this if you haven't, it's very entertaining and absolutely true: "Don't Talk to the Police" https://youtu.be/d-7o9xYp7eE
You are under no obligation to attest to your innocence. It's not your responsibility to do so. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.
You cannot refuse to provide identification (or do a roadside sobriety test). But if there is no probable cause to pursue the matter further, there's only so much they can do without your testimony.
There's a lot of damage they can do with your testimony though.
Just because the officer tells them that they can tell the judge what they say doesn't at all imply that it could cause the child to get in more trouble.
Hmm. I thought the Supreme Court said that you had to explicitly state your refusal to answer questions, and simply stopping answering questions could be considered a response that can be used against you.
The first half of that sentence is correct. Not so sure about the second half.
> Both [the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney] protect the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination by requiring an interrogation to cease when either right is invoked.
It seems that if he had explicitly stated he did not wish to talk, the interrogation would have ended immediately. Because it was not explicitly stated, the police were allowed to continue asking questions. After several hours of being asked questions, he broke his silence and answered.
It appears that explicitly invoking your right to remain silent saves you a lot of stress.
If there's anything worth teaching in our schools, it's the rights and responsibilities we have as citizens of this country.
"A republic, if you can keep it."
Also keep in mind that just yesterday there was an editorial in the Washington Post blasting Seattle’s city council for losing their marbles (like establishing a city income tax of 2.5% even though income tax is down like 30% from 30 years ago).
Seattle’s City Council, while definitely kind of weird, has been doing some really innovative and awesome stuff, they are trying to learn hard from the mistakes of San Francisco. For instance they’ve established a number of groups to support “renters rights” to counter NIMBY-esque homeowners for instance.
(And another point of clarification 'cause I read it too and can't help myself: an opinion piece by George Will isn't exactly an "editorial." I'd seriously doubt that the WAPost editorial board would agree with many of his dubious positions in the column.)
> Last spring the county adopted a new ordinance that requires juveniles detained at the Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle to get advice from an attorney before talking to law enforcement.
Only if it hurts your case 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE (sorry, don't remember the exact time, but the video is great, watch it in full anyway)