Perhaps one upside to the coming ubiquity of cameras is an increased availability in actual evidence for crimes.
While unbiased eye-witness testimony might be well unreliable, the story mostly shows DA and corruption.
He got out of jail by showing the people who testified against him were quite biased indeed - They were "motivated" to act by police and DA threats and the DA had systematically lied concerning this process...
It's also rather heart-rending to read how he had to engage in fraud to discover the truth and naturally this fraud was then held against his appeal....
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ZrFEGVE... (search for 'Holdman' on that page)
It's mind blowing to think about being in a situation where the only way to get justice is to break the law. It sounds good in action movie but in real life, it's appalling...
Evidence is evidence. If there were illegal actions while collecting it, then those actions should be prosecuted, but evidence is still evidence and should be used.
Disallowing illegally obtained evidence also has the effect of discouraging the police from illegally obtaining evidence in the first place and reducing opportunities for corruption. Of course, in this case it didn't work out so well, but you would see a lot more stories like this if sources of evidence weren't important.
Exactly, and arguably it's the only effective deterrent, because courts will be very lenient towards law enforcement officers doing their job, simply out of pragmatism. Law enforcement officers don't all have a precise understanding of the law, there are gray areas in the law anyway, and on top of that, the law is constantly evolving. Prosecuting police officers for illegal searches would be harmful, impractical, and _extremely_ unpopular, so the use of illegal searches and evidence obtained from them would become routine if that were the only deterrent.
The US has abnormally strong civil liberties as far as interacting with your local police department goes, paired with a federal government that does everything they think they can get away with when it comes to kidnapping foreigners or feeling you up at the airport. It's a very strange system filled with contradictions.
EDIT: Anti-American was probably too strong a term for it. My point was just that it's interesting how the American government is criticized on both accounts.
Being "mind-blowing" is good thing, at least that's what I remember from Steve Jobs.
If cops aren't allowed to use any evidence they gather illegally, it puts a damper on their enthusiasm for such illegality.
"In Germany, statutory law mandates exclusion of statements obtained from suspects or witnesses by force, deception, hypnosis, or similar illicit methods of interrogation" http://law.jrank.org/pages/899/Criminal-Procedure-Comparativ...
"Because deterrence of police misconduct is not the rationale for exclusion of evidence, German courts tend to admit evidence obtained through illegal searches "http://law.jrank.org/pages/899/Criminal-Procedure-Comparativ...
For example, California switched over to a completely new set of jury instructions known as CALCRIM for criminal trials a few years ago, designed to eliminate a lot of unnecessary confusion and legalistic cruft which had accrued to the previous version, known as CALJIC. But even drafting those from scratch takes years. My reference copy of CALCRIM is about 2500 pages over 3 volumes. And that's just criminal - there's a lot more for civil trials. A LOT more.
Think of it like encountering Unix as a complete newbie. You know what computers are for and what they can do, but but actually learning unix at the command line is pretty complicated, no?
But a nice example would be this very case - even after the case was basically retro-actively thrown out, the prosecutor's office still maintain everything was kosher. (They still maintain that Collins is guilty - seriously, what the fuck?)
Be part of the problem, or propose part of the solution: that's on you, me, and everyone else who considers the matter. But consider whether you consider, whether you contribute; or whether you merely detract.
The principle that an attorney can and should pursue every possible legal option on behalf of a defendant, no matter how heinous the crime or how seemingly obvious their guilt, is more recent than many people realize. It was not really established before 1840. I was very surprised to find this, an only learned thanks to a book recommendation from HN member (and attorney) grellas.
> Framed by a corrupt cop, a man spends 19 unjust years in prison. Barry Gibbs was falsely accused of murder, and in 2006, after 19 years in prison, was exonerated with the help of The Innocence Project. New York City recently gave him the largest personal settlement in its history, 9.9 million dollars. The NYPD detective, Louis Eppolito, is now serving life in prison.
It seems to me that they should apply the same burden of proof. If a murderer can be convicted on eyewitness evidence, why should the same eyewitness evidence not be sufficient to demonstrate prosecutor corruption?
On the other hand I can understand why they have immunity (although this doesn't affect guilt).
That's not trying to change things, that's trying to stop change, in the former case, stopping the invasion of the growing drug culture and in the latter the repulsion of those who want to destroy their freedom. Unfortunately, in these cases, they don't mind giving up other peoples rights in the name of safety, because their entire world view is dominated by fear. So yea, liberals tried to maintain the status quo of things like civil liberties, but those are the exceptions, not the rule.
So it isn't just the literal definition of conservative, it's the prevailing attitude of nearly every one that I've met. They aren't just coincidentally called conservatives, nor are progressives coincidentally called such either. Both are fairly accurate descriptions of the general attitude of both groups; not everyone fits both groups, but most do, whether they admit to the label or not.
In the case, officials effectively coerced at least three different people into testifying against the defendant and then lied about their behavior.
Jurors aren't psychic. They have to assume that prosecutors aren't lying and coercing witnesses. So unreliable officials will give you unreliable jury trials.
And making an irrevocable decision based on such an unreliable trial system clearly has some problems even every single juror is the most honest, upstanding citizen you can find.
I also think it's pretty well understood that conservatives tend to trust policemen, prosecutors, and juries even though they tend to distrust federal regulators. Policemen and prosecutors are generally employed and even elected on local levels and perform a well-defined job that has to be done, and juries are (ideally, if not in practice) a random sample of the people, while federal regulators are, in the conservative view, trying to do a job that the market would do much more effectively--as well as appointed at the federal level, which is a lot farther from your local DA in terms of accountability to the public.
So many attorneys, so few good ones.
This man is suing for 60 million and will probably get a settlement for less but still large sum. If he were to get $10 million, would that be enough for 10 years behind bars?
No. At least, not if it were me.
But then again, if it were me, no amount of money would make me feel that justice was done. I'd want to see the prosecutor and anyone else involved in the frauds that got me convicted do some time themselves.
This comment reminded me of the Chekhov short story The Bet - http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Bet.shtml
If you reversed the statement, would you take $10m for 10 years of imprisonment? I definitely wouldn't. Life's for living.
Anyone in the police or DA's office who had a hand in railroading him should get 10 years in jail.
The only inspirational stores I wanna read about HERE are about fellow hackers' finding Seed/ VC funding and their successful exits. Or about cool programs and code. Items pertaining to Technology , Free Markets and Capitalism.
For all other life-affirming and inspirational stuff , I could always go to reddit.
On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
I had no idea that you could lawyer your own way out of prison like that, and upon reading the title I was most assuredly curious.