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You're focusing on one case instead of looking at the whole thing as a system. What's the standard of proof for establishing that it's knowing and not inadvertent? Who "finds" that the prosecution knowingly withheld evidence? You can't have official legal "findings" until you institute a law suit, so what's the bar for instituting a law suit and how do you set that bar high enough to keep prosecutors from being inundated with lawsuits by every criminal they put in jail?

It's a cost-benefit analysis. What's the benefit of reducing the error rate of the system versus how much does it cost to achieve that reduction?




The whole thing as a system requires it to 'police' itself internally, because we don't have enough information to be able to do it effectively (i.e., file lawsuits with 100% accuracy). I'll say it again - when a case review finds withheld evidence that led to a wrongful conviction, this should lead to immediate criminal charges from within the system - no lawsuit should have to be filed from the victim. If it was unintentional, let the jury decide. This is how the rest of us get treated.

I disagree that this is simple cost-benefit analysis. This is about the integrity and trustworthiness of the system, and it's not worth writing off a whole bunch of people to make the wheels squeak less and clean up easier when they grind up an innocent person's life. It needs pressure from the outside to reform itself from within.

EDIT:

I guess I'm asking for the justice system to do a better job policing itself and start treating transgressions like this as major offenses that threaten the system itself. But considering human nature, this is unlikely. There is an interesting book called 'Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)' which has a chapter dedicated to this kind of behavior in the justice system.

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Exactly, sending a handful of unlucky prosecutors to jail for a few decades pour encourager les autres would clearly be worth it on the whole to protect the integrity of the system.

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If that was the cost it would be peachy. What we're talking, instead, is about no prosecutor ever being able to do their job because they'd be constantly flooded by litigation claiming that this or the other thing amounted to prosecutorial misconduct.

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Could you just make it contingent on the person who was imprisoned making a successful appeal - which I'd imagine would be their initial priority anyway? You get off for something that you were put away for, then you can sue for misconduct....

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You can't have official legal "findings" until you institute a law suit . . .

You can have official legal findings whenever the system says you can have official legal findings. One option would be to close the loop and have the system prosecute itself (plenty of precedent). There are others.

Reinforcing the reliability of the system directly reinforces the legitimacy of the state's monopoly on violence - and that's an exceedingly big deal. Perhaps the cost-benefit analysis doesn't fall out in that direction, but I'm wary of that idea without a lot of evidence to back it up.

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So some journalist writing an article should constitute legal findings that can trigger a lawsuit?

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. . . I don't recall mentioning journalists? I also wasn't aware that journalists could unilaterally free convicted felons.

I think the state's own findings are quite sufficient. The trick is to incentivize their use without unduly obstructing other operations of equal importance.

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A state engaging in an official process of finding the facts is called litigation. What should be sufficient showing to trigger this litigation against a prosecutor? In this case, it was a journalist writing an article. So you're basically saying prosecutors should be subject to litigation based on articles by journalist.

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I'm well aware of the mechanics, thank you.

The state has already satisfied itself sufficiently to reverse a murder conviction. If the investigation that led to that course of action was causally descended from an article written by a journalist - what of it?

If you believe that the actions taken by the state up to this point were unwarranted, say so explicitly. Otherwise, please recognize that I am not talking about journalists here.

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