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Charles Lindbergh is the reason the U.S. doesn't have cameras in the courtroom (slate.com)
104 points by prismatic 5 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 97 comments





In a related issue, it is illegal in Washington State for lawmakers to have private negotiations about bills. It's the "open meetings" law. I.e. you cannot discuss a bill with other lawmakers over coffee, over the phone, via email, etc. This law is very well intentioned.

But it seems to have the opposite effect. Legislation can only be discussed in public hearings, and so they just turn into the lawmakers reading prepared grandstanding statements playing to the cameras.


Are you sure about that? It looks like the law explicitly excludes the legislature. RCW 42.30.030 says it applies to "meetings of the governing body of a public agency".

"Public agency" is defined in RCW 42.30.020, which says:

> As used in this chapter unless the context indicates otherwise:

> (1) "Public agency" means:

> (a) Any state board, commission, committee, department, educational institution, or other state agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, other than courts and the legislature;

> (b) Any county, city, school district, special purpose district, or other municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state of Washington;

> (c) Any subagency of a public agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, ordinance, or other legislative act, including but not limited to planning commissions, library or park boards, commissions, and agencies;

> (d) Any policy group whose membership includes representatives of publicly owned utilities formed by or pursuant to the laws of this state when meeting together as or on behalf of participants who have contracted for the output of generating plants being planned or built by an operating agency.

See https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=42.30


I sometimes wonder if a rationale for the idea from The Republic of the guardians all sharing a common mess was an attempt to avoid politics via private dining.

Bonus clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOPsAcy5FYk

Wit 'fakeshang' mi showxa mebi walowda o mebi walowda walowda mang, demang xalte wit sif fo du ruchirowna. -- Da Dzhimi, Federalish 10 (1787)


It could be a necessary evil. We already have corruption with stealth kickbacks and special interests siphoning budget from America. How much worse would it be if it was all behind the scenes?

It already is behind the scenes. Do you really think people only discuss about it in public hearings.

The Seattle City Council did do it behind the scenes. Then they got slapped with a lawsuit over that.

If a man turns into a clown in front of a camera, he would too be a clown in any other way.

It greatly unsightly for a country to have people like these for the apex court justices.


Publicity is a resource that careful politicians spend wisely, according to their needs at the time. These publicized official events give them a platform to grandstand or rebuke the opposition, some of them are bound to use it that way. Meeting one on one doesn't have that possibility of publicity, unless you're really dedicated to playing the clown 24/7.

Having cameras in the court room would do 1000x more damage to the legitimacy of SCOTUS in the eyes of the public than seating blatant partisan justices, or even expanding seats. It would manufacture the kind of gross and disgusting meme-able content that we see in all other corners of media today, and it would turn these Judges into celebrity personalities rather than, ostensibly, impartial members of an independent branch of government.

If you want to peek into oral argument, and actually learn something about the High Court, do yourself a favor and check out the incredible work Oyez does. They mash up the audio with the transcript, and sync it with a highlighted avatar for which Justice is speaking at the time. Having cameras in the court would destroy this medium of consumption, and relegate it to manipulated soundbites and distorted political ads. We should all detest any attempt to change the status quo here.

Here's an example from Oyez. An interesting case that has some good back and forth, and highlights how this really is the best way to consume the history of the court. They have the entire record in there, and their website is very well organized, so you can find whatever case you want.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2019/18-1195


Incredible resource. I feel like this is what proponents of cameras want, a medium for understanding the thought process and types of debate that goes into SCOTUS decisions. There were many interesting observations. Like how there were still interruptions (thus how hard that must be to do away with in oral debate), how there were no “umms or likes” I observed (makes sense, they would be intelligent speakers), and above all how humanizing the occasional joke and laughter were, for decisions that have serious impact.

Oyez is probably a top 5 website out there today. It's beautifully built in its minimalism, and it does an amazing job of mainlining what is an intentionally inaccessible part of the US government to the public. IANAL, but I've listened to and read hundreds of cases from this site, and it's a seriously undervalued resource. Whenever decisions drop in June (aka SCOTUS season), it's one of my favorite summer redoubts - to ignore all the press write-ups about the cases and just go to the source material.

Edit: As a testament to how deep this website goes, they've got audio from the 1960s curated in the same way. Here's a famous case (and very very relevant today) from 1963.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1963/39


> how there were no “umms or likes” I observed (makes sense, they would be intelligent speakers)

Some of the justices get their questions out ... very ... slowly. I don't know if you can necessarily attribute the lack of 'filler words' to some superior intellect. I'm sure the fact they all went to a few ivy league schools also trained them to speak in a particular manner.


The only two illegal photos taken inside the US Supreme Court in session, 1932-1937

https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/photos-inside-supreme-court...


I'm surprised that there are spectators in the room. I always assumed that Supreme Court sessions only included the judges and lawyers.

I'd be surprised if something so important weren't open to the public.

> All oral arguments are open to the public, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/visiting/visitorsguidetooralarg...


In the constitution you have the right to a public trial. It is an easy argument that your appeal is part of your trial even if you are not there yourself.

This is the old courtroom, right? Which is now open to the public.

The idea that cameras "had a corrosive influence on the dignified conduct of American jurisprudence" is a deeply odd one, for all that it seems to be obviously true. What is the mechanism? I suspect it has more to do with how the footage is used outside the courtroom than anything that directly happens inside, but that's only a start of an answer. Is video actually easier to sensationalize than other media?

People behave differently on camera than off. If you know you’re being recorded, this will have an effect on your actions. If you have career ambitions, then anywhere there’s a camera is a chance to move up by using that camera as a platform and the area it is recording as a stage.

I want prosecutors, public defenders, lawyers and judges in our courtrooms. I want Representatives and Senators in Congress. The actors can stay in Hollywood.


"The actors can stay in Hollywood." That ship has sailed since Reagan hasnt it.

Reagan was a politician last. He came out of Hollywood, he went to the White House and he worked the part, but he wasn’t on camera with all of his business in the Oval Office all the time.

How is a Congressman supposed to negotiate on a bloody camera? That’s bad craft, you don’t negotiate that way, you don’t get anything done and we haven’t. Congress hasn’t and they’ve long let the White House run the show, bought into Nixon’s BS about being coequal branches when Congress used to reign supreme.

Courts have a similar problem, if you have the public and the Republic breathing down their necks the whole time, how is a good Judge, Jury, Prosecutor and Defense supposed to bring justice with all of the details aired out to the public in such a visceral and relatable form? You want to know the facts of the case, you can go there in person or read the damn documents, and the people that need to know will put in the legwork. There’s no need to make every trial into a YouTube video.


Reagan also benefited from good editing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBYrGQCHW7M&t=180

The last bastion of "they can stay in Hollywood" is the Court. If we change the structure of how we cover it to reflect this kind of BS social media optimization, yeah, we'll get the actors on the Court and not actual judges.

>Is video actually easier to sensationalize than other media?

It has nothing to do with video (although the fidelity of recording likely has an impact). It's now know as the Hawthorne effect [1] but even before it was given a name, anthropologists who came to openly study remote tribes often reported markedly different cultural behaviors from more clandestine anthropologists and the locals whose contact with the remote tribes brought them to the attention of academics.

Just knowing that something is being closely observed and even recorded for posterity seems to significantly alter behavior. Basically like a possum playing dead, except with far more complex social interactions.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorne_effect


> It's now known as the Hawthorne effect [1]

The citation doesn't seem to support much of anything:

> Descriptions of the well-known and remarkable effect, which was discovered in the context of research conducted at the Hawthorne Western Electric plant, turned out to be fictional.

> The original research involved workers who made electrical relays at the Hawthorne Works, a Western Electric plant in Cicero, Illinois. Between 1924 and 1927 the famous lighting study was conducted. Workers experienced a series of lighting changes in which productivity was said to increase with almost any change in the lighting. This turned out not to be true.

> Later interpretations such as Landsberger's suggested that the novelty of being research subjects and the increased attention from such could lead to temporary increases in workers' productivity. This interpretation was dubbed "the Hawthorne effect," although the data does not support that view.

> Other researchers have attempted to explain the effects with various interpretations. J. G. Adair warned of gross factual inaccuracy in most secondary publications on the Hawthorne effect and that many studies failed to find it.


Last time I heard the Hawthorne effect discussed (on BBC radio 4), two psychologists explained that the lighting changes were enacted on a Monday, and lasted for the week. The increase in productivity detected on the Monday was then attributed to the change in lighting from the previous Friday.

Despite this seeming like a classic case of conflating correlation with causation, and the workers simply being more productive due to being more rested.

The psychologists then concluded that although this wasn’t evidence for the Hawthorne effect, the effect was still real. I turned off the radio.


Personally, I act differently when stranger is in the room and when I an alone and when it is only me and friends. I personally observed family dinner being different when rare visitor came in, kids acting differently when they thought I an not watching and meetings being different when our off team people are present.

any form of public broadcasting turns private deliberation between peers into an event performed in front of an audience, which is to say it has the tendency to turn something into a spectacle. It's why all these congressional hearings with CEOs are absolute clown car events, the hearing only exists for the political audience rather than for actual deliberation.

All media has this effect of turning things into a simulated spectacle but video is likely worse because it's unmediated and real-time.

This tendency of turning everything into a movie, available to consumers at the click of a button permeates American society at this point, from protests[1], to hearings, to the presidents medical status.

[1]https://imgur.com/QzDHOEy


“The single most important fact about television is that people watch it, which is why it is called ‘television.’ And what they watch, and like to watch, are moving pictures—millions of them, of short duration and dynamic variety. It is in the nature of the medium that it must suppress the content of ideas in order to accommodate the requirements of visual interest; that is to say, to accommodate the values of show business.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985)


Maybe one thing is that people become more afraid of looking stupid. They may not ask for important clarifications.

There was a question here in another thread "if you saw your surgeon reviewing a text book just before he started cutting you up, would you feel more or less safe?". I would feel less safe.

But it's obviously better if those surgeons who don't feel 100% confident do review.


>Maybe one thing is that people become more afraid of looking stupid. They may not ask for important clarifications.

This 1000 times. I learned extremely early there is great value to be found in being "the strategic dunce" in the room in any Engineering context, and it is the most difficult 'skill' to teach to Junior Quality people.

When you get a bunch of Engineers in a room, you can often follow what they think is going on, and if you only observe and question shallowly, everything appears fine.

Then you play the dunce and ask them to clarify a basic point. Do it once. Do it twice. Do it a third time. Usually by 3 or four, unless planning has gone off without a hitch, you'll uncover some misunderstanding or assumption someone made, but the rest weren't aware of.

It doesn't take much, just a willingness to hold people to make what they think explicit. It can seem like a tiresome practice, but by doing it, you can also short-circuit the pattern by which everybody delegates a complete understanding of the system to 4 or 5 people, and you start to have everyone able to delve into the details of larger and larger swathes of the system, reducing the chances of only discovering fundamental holes in understanding until it's too late.

I find 80% time investment making sure everyone is saying the same thing about the same thing any day; since at that point, the implementation basically lays itself out in front of the mind's eye,and you turn the builders into walking cross-check functions.


I don't remember the author but one historian of Germany (I think) used the phrase the "historicizing gaze of the camera" to describe how shooting footage of an event freezes that singular, imperfect perspective in amber. When that recording is all that survives of the event in the historical record, it becomes the single "true" way that event unfolded. At the time of film's invention, this was very remarkable, although we may take it for granted now. (It cannot be a perfect representation of the event, of course, such a film is impossible unless the event is watching paint dry, and even then the whole wall better fit in the camera's view)

Good. C-SPAN cameras turned Congress into a show and I’m not convinced we’re better off for it.

Newt Gingrich realized that C-SPAN provided him a free 24-hour platform to talk about whatever he wanted on TV. He would go stand in the empty chambers and speak to the TV audience. It helped bring about the widening partisan divide we have today.

C-SPAN being known for its large audience glued to the TV screen all 24 hours?

No, certainly not a large audience, but some people. This was in the 80s and early 90s. It must be difficult to imagine if you've grown up with the Internet, but people didn't have instant access to an infinite amount of content with them in their pocket all the time.

If you had basic cable, you got maybe 13 channels, one of which was C-SPAN, plus 3-5 local networks. Some of those would go off the air during the night. Others would be showing infomercials or bad movies or just whatever they had laying around. There was not a lot of competition at the time.

So if you were working the night shift, or an insomniac, or just up late watching TV for some reason, there was a decent chance that it would be one of maybe 5 things available to watch.

And hey, all those people get to vote. So if you want to influence them to vote a certain way, why not go talk to them when you're not really competing for their attention with anything else?


No, but it provides a wealth of raw footage to edit and play for the TV media, ads and today, with the Internet.

A certain UK politician did this in the EU parliament. Would turn up, make a speech in the middle of a debate, then leave. The speech had nothing to do with the subject of the debate but it could be put on YouTube later.

I like C-SPAN. It gives us a fairly pure insight into what the government is doing. I can literally keep an eye on them. I see all the stuff the news doesn't report and I also get to see the news before it gets filtered through corporate media.

Plus you are probably the second person I know who thinks C-SPAN is a show. The first person is me. The consensus in America seems to be that C-SPAN is too boring and so many won't watch it.


It provides pure insight into what happens on the floor. Therefore substantive business does not happen on the floor anymore. The floor is now a stage, and what happens is theater. All real business happens in private meetings and conversations, and those meetings are overwhelmingly segregated by party, hence the increasing polarization, because members from opposing parties rarely have personal relationships anymore.

And to add to this, the only thing that’s going to get you to pure insight is if you literally read these bills and proposals line by line and identify what interests or platforms are being pushed. Who amongst us does this? Desperately need annotated cliff notes for congressional bills, as the current media has a symbiotic relationship with the party spin narratives and cannot give anything other than the dramatic non-substantive take on matters.

Check out C-SPANs website. They have a neat bill tracker which makes understanding the debates between legislatures easier.

People in America complain about how biased our media is. I remind them that until they start watching C-SPAN instead of CNN for American politics that they are part of "the problem"

I love C-SPAN and think that it is a significant public good.


What you see on camera isn’t a pure anything, it’s just pure obfuscation and deflection. The cameras are rolling and while they’re rolling that’s the time to score points. That’s no way for a deliberative body to do politics.

It sounds like we need more transparency. No where to hide. If the government's conduct is always "good enough for TV" then I think we will have less problems.

Not sure how you take that away unless you want Congress to do literally nothing except showboat and pass continuing resolutions. Might as well shut the operation down and save the taxpayers some money but then we’re not a Republic anymore.

Doesn't sound so bad. The consequences for past government secrets have been pretty dire. Some really atrocious stuff happens when no one's looking, Abu Ghraib for example. Observation is an important part of keeping the government in line. One of the reasons the recent whale jail incident went over so smoothly was because multiple individuals connected to the global media were on-site observing the situation and reporting to the whole of Russia as well as the international community. Had those observers been absent, the behavior of the national administration as well as the local government in Primorsky would have been different.

Broadcast through PEG access channels such as C-SPAN lowers barriers to observation.


If you don’t want Congress to do political work, if you just want a taxpayer funded political drama to watch in your off hours, then you and I my friend are going to have to disagree.

Politics isn’t pretty, you can put some lipstick on that pig but it’s still a pig, and has a pig’s nature. Maybe there’s still something to work with though, you want a high bandwidth window of observation, and I don’t want to throw accountability out the window entirely, just C-SPAN.

I want the smoke filled rooms and the backroom deals to come back because those are signs of a Congress that is putting the legwork in and not rolling over for the President.

I think everybody wants to know that there’s a Rep working for them on the floor, even if they can’t watch the floor and watch perfectly edited clips to show mountains where there are only mole hills and vice versa.

How do we all get what we want here? I’ve got some ideas, but maybe you have some too.


Please give me one example of something you want your congress to do, that they would not be willing to do on national TV?

Negotiate.

Now this is just my opinion: I think you might be losing your grip on reality. We seem to be observing the same thing, and forming two different conclusions. Not really sure what to do in situations like this, where there is no consensus on reality itself. I have observed negotiation happening on C-SPAN with my own eyes...

Maybe we just have different definitions for "negotiation". Please would you like to tell what happens in a negotiation, so I can better understand?


Are you sure your grip on reality is so tight that you can judge the state of another man’s head?

What happens on C-SPAN is a lot of posturing for the camera. The real negotiations, if they happen at all, happen between the Speaker, the President pro Tempe, the President and whoever the party whips have to cajole on that vote. That part doesn’t happen on the floors of the House and the Senate anymore because nothing hits the floors without the Speaker or the President pro Tempe signing off on it, and they’ll sign off on something even if they know it has no chance of passing just to try and score points with the base.


I tend to agree with you. Too often politicians are playing to the cameras hoping for a soundbite rather than engaging in substantive debate.

Would conducting legislative business via IRC (or text-only Slack/Discord) be a substantive improvement?

(or would legislators wind up texting A/S/L and deploying filibuster bots?)


Everything would be the same except it's not recorded. A transcript can provide transparency but would be much harder to sensationalize.

I've never voted, never will. Mainly because politicians don't really debate: that being, to convince an opposition to change their minds. I know sometimes politicians have gone against their party's wishes, but I can't see those being as a result of a well constructed idea from the opposition.

From what I can tell, there's plenty of that kind of debating done in German politics. Especially also because coalition governments are the norm.

Would you vote there?


This may have some truth in national politics, but state and certainly local politics have much more substantive discussions.

I don't know how I feel about this. I like the idea of complete transparency, but even without being able to capture dramatic photos of courtroom battles the US already has trial by media in some cases. I feel like adding photos and videos to that would throw gasoline onto that fire and turn our judicial system into a reality show. I almost prefer the system in some European countries where they are not even allowed to release the names involved in criminal cases unless they have been found guilty.

Just look at what it did to congressional inquiries. You just end up with a bunch of misinformed or willfully ignorant senators and representatives asking rarely useful questions of people just so they can be on CSPAN grilling that CEO that the media currently doesn't like. No one cares about solving the issues so long as there's enough footage sent home to the voters to get reelected.

How do you think the senators would act if they knew voters wouldn't see their performance?

They could release transcripts, which would be far less theatrical than video and audio. Sure, transcripts may contain some grandstanding, but it's not as spicy as a 20 second tweeted clip.

The Supreme Court disallows cameras, but release audio, so those who wish to follow the court can still do so.


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I think the point of those questions is just to establish a baseline of truth in congressional testimony, it's not really "stunt" related. It would become a stunt in retrospect if it were found ACB lied to Congress, which is a crime. Get as many factual comments on record as you can, and then you have a bigger quiver later.

Kleptocracy could be preferable to Ochlocracy.

Gingrich was a master of playing the CSPAN game

Right. Innocent until proven guilty. The public also runs with any and all salacious narratives and court cases can turn accusations into a sentencing in itself via shaming. The old ‘so, I heard you finally stopped beating your wife’ trope where the inference is enough to destroy people, true or not.

We see a lot of this on Reddit. Shaming is a powerful tool, but often should be reserved for punching up (power structures like the government, law enforcement, and large organizations ((not a small business)). Your average person is flawed and trial by public shaming seems cruel and unusual.

Like yeah, I get it, the random person you are filming is a racist but is the punishment the front page of Reddit? What’s your plan when the social climate changes and the stuff you do is now fodder to be recorded? There are some people that will record American women dressed revealing in other countries because, hey, culturally it’s shameful to dress like that. How there isn’t a bunch of public defamation lawsuits for this stuff boggles my mind. I can legally be a piece of shit, that doesn’t mean you get to just record me on one day out of my life and broadcast it on the internet.

Social media is going around banning misinformation. At some point, I want to see a crackdown on online public defamation.

But yeah, back to the point, no - you shouldn’t be able to record one of the worst moments of my life as I fight to clear my name in court.


"I like the idea of complete transparency"

Really? I have an issue with subpoenas. Subpoenas can make public to the court your phone records, your phone images, emails to your ex from 2008, your text messages etc.

You want to have a divorce court publish all your iphone text messages and photos? I think once a subpoena is requested the court must turn private -- at least to protect the innocent.


Compare the defense of Μνησαρέτη: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phryne

Are you saying you'd like cameras in court in case a defendant gets her tits out? I think some more context to your point would be helpful!

I'm saying cameras in court are more likely to lead to theatrics (especially since they've already famously occurred) than to discovery of truth.

A friend used to practice law in New Orleans. One of his courtroom anecdotes is that there was a stock phrase for prosecuting vice officers, something like "just before she placed her lips on it, I arrested her" but one memorable time when this hackneyed phrase was trotted out on the witness stand, Defendant blurted out "Oh, no you didn't! That was the best damn blowjob you ever got."


How did that case go?

In the ancient greek case: acquittal.

In the New Orleans case, the outcome wasn't part of the story. Even if the judge felt witness had been credibly impeached, the manner of impeachment corroborates a solicitation charge, so I'd guess: conviction.


In France we have presumption-of-innocence laws, but presuming innocence participates to justice not working: Look at the last people who have been killed during the summer and you’ll notice a worrying trend — they have 10, 20, 47 repeat offenses.

At one point you have to think of the victims too. For 20 repeat offenses recorded, there has been hundreds of beat-ups. I met a guy who said he’s been 200 times (his estimate) in custody between 13 and 18. He had only been condemned once, at 19. He bragged to me about how many French people he bullied, including locking up a fat kid in a basement for 3 weeks. You have to think of the victims.

Again, look at repeat offenses of usual criminals in newspapers, and remind yourself that they have been presumed innocent to the extreme and only condemned for cases which have been extensively proven, where victims dared to talk, knowing he has a condemnation rate of less that 0,5% per arrest.


This has nothing to do with presumption of innocence. Presumption of innocence means that you are considered innocent until legally proven guilty in court. It is a very fundamental value of a democratic justice system that guarantees that you can defend yourself of accusations and you are free of the arbitrariness of prosecutors and public opinion. If you undermine that out of an emotional reaction to some event you risk creating much more harm, by sending many innocents in jail and generally instilling distrust in the society, than you will prevent.

Also, what do you propose? If it is not necessary to be declared legally guilty anymore, then what? The color of your skin? The mood of the prosecutor and judge? The number of times you are presented before the court? What if the cops don't like you? What if you are accused without proof and without mean to exonerate yourself?

The cases you describe of people committing 47 offenses (with no conviction you say, so the justice system decided that they were not actually offenses, Yet you are here claiming that they are without any knowledge of the facts) and then going to kill someone are very very rare. You can't have a 100% failure-proof system without complete totalitarian control over everyone in the population. Many of these people are just insane, they're not the organized terrorist group types, and the justice system is not equipped to deal with mental health issues. When it tries you end up with people in psychiatric internment for years and years without trial and with little recourse, which is another tragedy.


Imagine being released from prison and told, "Whether or not you return to crime, if anyone ever accuses you again, we're going to assume you're guilty and send you back." I think you get a lot more victims that way, even before you count the reformed criminals who are now victims of the state.

Criminal history should absolutely factor in to a case, and I believe it does in the US. But it is imperative for society at large that innocent people can expect to go unpunished.


I agree, but after 20, 47, 200 assaults or robberies, at some point, someone needs to start noticing a pattern and doing something about it!

Tomorrow is a new day! and Start with a clean slate! are laudable goals and ideals for us to have and we would all want that for ourselves ... but maybe not to the point of delusion and detriment to society?


If someone has been found guilty of 200 actual assualts, by all means, exponentially increasing punishment is fine with me.

However 200 (potentially false) accusations of assualt shouldn't matter. Otherwise a bad actor could just repeatedly accuse someone until the accusee hits the 200 (or whatever) limit.


Agree. Law mechanisms can be abused. In Poland we had a case where a shoplifter (Stanisław Belski) was caught stealing coffee and sentenced. Security and the owner tossed a couple extra items into his bag to get him over a threshold so he qualified for a harsher verdict. The thief protested, but was found insane and delusional. In classic Soviet style, he was detained for 8 years and drugged in a psychiatric hospital. It wasn't until a new young inspector showed up that his protest was finally heard. Even when the thief was released, the staff of the hospital tried to crush the man by publishing his sensitive information. The thief received high monetary compensation, but no one was actually sentenced for the abuse of the law system.

In NL, doing fake accusations is a crime in itself ( and it is prosecuted too ). In Dutch I believe it is called a 'valse aangifte'.

Probably does not apply in all cases? Imagine someone beats me up or something but is found not guilty for some reason. Would I be charged with lying under oath or false accusations? It just increases the stakes for any lawsuit.

If I remember correctly, the previous district attorney in Manhattan was very friendly with the wealthy people. Imagine how much they could legally wreck your life if this was left up to the prosecution.


Insufficient evidence to convict someone else is not sufficient evidence to convict you. They’d still have to convict a jury of your peers that you did so.

Applies in all cases, but it has to be deliberate. You can accuse as many people as you want if you actually (reasonably) believe they’ve done you wrong.

Assuming they're accusations (not convictions), the question is what's the pattern? Is it a pattern of criminal behaviour, or is it police bias/somebody systematically accusing this person for whatever reason? Aggregating multiple not guilty verdicts and/or cases that weren't perused into something that results in criminal sanctions is dubious, and in some sense may invert the burden of proof (you now have to show the allegations against you are _false_ to challenge them, rather than just showing guilt hasn't been proven).

I would expect these to show up as massive amount of unsolved crimes is stats.

And the places where people get away with a lot of crimes are places with corrupt underpaid police force rather then the ones with stopping civil protections.

On discussion forums people talk about it as if the issue was impossibility to find evidence against single dumb impulsive individual. When you look at places with a lot of unsolved cases, you see cops who don't care or who protect their friends or are corrupt or who prefer to prosecute random people. And you see good apples cops getting demotivated and loosing political confkicts against bad apples cops.

What you don't see is well discipline well intentioned police force that is just unable to get doctor report of injuries or use testimony as evidence.


Presumption of innocence is none of the concern in #MeToo situations. In fact our Ministry of Equality affirms that presenting a defense in justice is a problem of further bullying the victim, who shouldn’t be challenged in the process.

In the same year, we’ve had several bethroatings over the summer (last one yesterday) from people who were presumed innocent several times. The victims are the bottom of the joke here.


> Presumption of innocence is none of the concern in #MeToo situations.

You're conflating public opinion and the justice system.

> In fact our Ministry of Equality affirms that presenting a defense in justice is a problem of further bullying the victim, who shouldn’t be challenged in the process.

It doesn't seem to go against the presumption of innocence. You may not know but in rape cases, the victim and the alleged rapist are sometimes questioned at the same time, side by side, which can be quite traumatic.

> from people who were presumed innocent several times.

Being presumed innocent and being found not guilty are not the same thing. Everyone, even the worst of the worst, is assumed innocent.


Cameras are allowed in Florida state courtrooms. Cameras are prohibited in federal courts.

Strange that the article failed to mention the Dr. Sam Shephard murder trial: see, https://www.thompsoncoburn.com/docs/default-source/Bio-relat...

(pdf)


Wasnt there something about Ted Bundy being the first case or case of its type on camera? So they were not always on camera. Florida also has strong public record laws which I think more states should have to a degree. The people deserve to know what the police are doing after an investigation closes.

I think the government itself should record all trials not for public release but for archival, evidence and review. How else do you being down a racist or corrupt judge?

I thought the story of the kidnapping sounded a little familiar. And so TIL that Murder on the Orient Express was based on that real life story.

We know how the public reacted to social media.

If you think adding more cameras to Washington would help things...

I guess if we are trying to maximize entertainment, it would be a good idea.


Does anyone remember watching the OJ trial on TV live ?

I still wonder what the outcome would have been had it not been televised.

I wonder what it would have been like if both sides acted like a court case and not like actors in a made for television special.

wow. The kidnapping happened in 1932, it took 2 years to find the perpetrator, sentence (death) was carried out in 1936.

The wheels of justice turned much faster then.


I am interested in what would happen if we took this a step further.

Judgments by judge or jury to be done 'blind'. Neither to see the person on trial.

How many people are not given proper justice becuase of how they look?

No matter what you will not be able to remove bias, whether it is being overly harsh because of the persons skin color, or overly easy because the person is attractive.

https://www.thelawproject.com.au/insights/attractiveness-bia...

>>in one study, the effects of physical attractiveness on judges were so influential, they fined unattractive criminals 304.88% higher than attractive criminals.


That would be a fun experiment! Not even on racial bias, but heck, self identification or as you said, attractiveness. I wonder if you could hide away their voice too. Voices definitely are attractive or not to many peoples' ears.



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