Speakeasy forum

General discussion

To be or not to be?

by Dan McC / November 15, 2004 4:29 AM PST
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: To be or not to be?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: To be or not to be?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
There's more threat to the legal system from its practition
by Ziks511 / November 15, 2004 5:24 AM PST
In reply to: To be or not to be?

ers than from most of its defendants.

Rob Boyter

Collapse -
Witnesses lying under oath and sending innocent
by Dragon / November 16, 2004 3:49 AM PST
In reply to: To be or not to be?

people to die should be given life in prison. Hows that for an antidote to coercion? Happy

Collapse -
Re: Witnesses lying under oath and sending innocent
by Dan McC / November 16, 2004 4:13 AM PST

How about disbarment for prosecutors found in any way culpable in misconduct? That would be a bit better than just ignoring them as is done now.

Dan

Collapse -
How about the professor?
by Angeline Booher / November 16, 2004 4:44 AM PST

As the article said he had a tip of the man's innocence and if it was before the execution, did he take any action? Or was he afraid of being embarrassed himself if the tip had turned out to be false?

And how about the person who supplied the tip? Was it known to that person prior to the execution that the witness had lied?

If the witnesses felt coerced, they could have let that be known to the judge. And just how were they coerced? Threatened with what?

Looks like a lot of blame to go around to me.

The witness who lied should be prosecuted to the limit of the law.

Of course. if the allegations of witness coercion are proven, the prosecutor will be punished.

No doubt there have been innocent people executed. And guilty ones go free.

Our judicial system is not perfect, but there is none better.

Angeline
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

Collapse -
'Not perfect'? ? ?
by Dan McC / November 16, 2004 5:17 AM PST

That ranks with the most enormous understatements of our time.

There is a lot of blame to go around, but I did not mention blame, nor do I think fixing blame is the most productive use of our resources. I'm more interested in fixing the system.

Prosecutors are virtually never called to task for their incompetence or malfeasance.

Also not that this is not an article, but a small excerpt from a book. Here is a fascinating interview with the author. (About 30 min.)

Dan

Collapse -
Re: 'Not perfect'? ? ?
by Angeline Booher / November 16, 2004 7:18 AM PST
In reply to: 'Not perfect'? ? ?

Well, Dan, I don't know where you live, but in my area the prosecutors do a pretty good job. Ours are hired by the elected District Attorney, and paid a salary, which I suspect is a good deal less than they would earn in private practice.

As with any group, and not limited to prosecutors, , there are those who are incompetent.

There are laws that I think have handcuffed successful prosecutions, but these were enacted to protect the rights of the accused.

As you are not looking to place blame, what are your suggestions for changing the system? Is there a model somewhere else that would be better?

Angeline
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

Collapse -
better mouse traps?
by Dragon / November 16, 2004 11:13 AM PST
In reply to: Re: 'Not perfect'? ? ?

Possibly new lie detectors on the horizon...

I was looking for this and found several other interesting links, one of which I posted as a new note about womens sex lives...

Collapse -
Re: 'Not perfect'? ? ?
by Dan McC / November 16, 2004 10:56 PM PST
In reply to: Re: 'Not perfect'? ? ?

It's difficult to compare our death penalty system with others because so few advanced societies continue the practice.

-Special training and requirements for DP prosecutors and defense attorneys.

-Generous funding for DP defense.

-Harsh punishment for prosecutors, police, and witnesses who compromise the system or allow it to be compromised.

-Granting all DP juries the option of life without parole.

Off the top of my head.

Dan

Collapse -
No to two of your suggestions
by TONI H / November 16, 2004 11:10 PM PST
In reply to: Re: 'Not perfect'? ? ?

I don't believe that the taxpayers should give more funding for DP defense.....if the killers have family who believe totally that their relative is innocent, let them put up the funding to pay for it. We already pay enough for the prosecution end of proving their guilt and in today's technological advances, there is enough there already to prove or absolve during the investigation.

I also don't believe that juries should be automatically given another option other than a DP if the crime doesn't actually call for that other option. If they are given alternatives, most juries will opt for the lesser just to asuage their conscience rather than follow the letter of the law....and then justice for the victim isn't awarded.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: No to two of your suggestions
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 12:44 AM PST

The disparity in funding for prosecution and defense is one of the major inequities of the system. What if the defendant has no family and no resources? Your solution would lead to police and prosecutors picking out the indigent for accusation even more than they do now. They know they would not be able to mount a defense.

If our goal is a fair and equitable system, that is.

BTW, many prosecutors have blocked the examination of DNA evidence during attempts to exonerate those already convicted. They just hate it when they're shown to be wrong.

Dan

Collapse -
Prosecutors
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 1:34 AM PST

who are shady are in the minority; whereas defense attorneys have a far greater reputation for pulling rabbits out of hats and putting witnesses on the stand who are fully willing to lie in order to get the client off, including their own client who has the most to lose so will say anything to be free. Most defense attorneys don't WANT to know if their client is guilty.

Think about gang members or mafia types also who actually threaten family members of their victims to keep them from testifying against them.....or killing the witnesses or family members outright....and know that if they are already in jail waiting for trial most times and can't be tied to the killing, the case gets thrown out because the prosecution side doesn't have the witness available anymore.....or even tampering with juries to get the results they want through threats or money.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: Prosecutors
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 2:23 AM PST
In reply to: Prosecutors

I'm against those bad things, too. I'm sure you join me in expecting better, no, more than that, continuous, exemplary scruples from those who choose to do the public's work in pursuing and prosecuting criminals.

Dan

Collapse -
also Prosecutors
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 2:40 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Prosecutors

as paid employees of the county/state/fed are normally paid a nominal wage, and the resources spent via tax payer money is spent on research, investigation teams, typists, forensics, medical examiners, etc. in order to build the case. Many wind up working as prosecutors for short terms only in order to build experience in many of those fields by osmosis and then going into private practice as defense attorneys because that's where the REAL money is at.

There are public defenders, of course, who are also making practically nothing to defend indigent clients, and have to beg for every dollar they can get from the courts to build their case; however, most times some family member comes up with some of that money for research, investigations, etc. which doesn't get into the pocket of these public defenders because they are obligated to account for everything to the courts just because of the indigent client status. They can't accept more for themselves than what the courts are willing to pay......normally a flat fee......and be given permission by that court to accept funds from the family to help offset other costs that the court can't award to them for that case.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: also Public Defenders
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 2:42 AM PST
In reply to: also Prosecutors

will 'employ' for free the use of law students and outside organizations, such as the ACLU, to help with the defense in research or investigations, so there are actually many areas where even an indigent person gets good representation. Many in the public don't understand or believe this though......

TONI

Collapse -
That hardly seems equitable
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 3:10 AM PST

A bunch of untrained, inexperienced volunteers against a highly organized, experienced, and well funded prosecutor's office and police department.

The ACLU mainly restricts it's participation to cases with constitutional questions.

Dan

Collapse -
Re: That hardly seems equitable
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 3:21 AM PST

those 'inexperienced' don't show up in court as professionals.........they are working in the background doing research so that the lead attorney(s) can spend their time doing what they have been paid to do. Law students are used all the time for 'current' trials in addition to being used for 'cold cases' that has sparked interest. It's called 'grunt work' and they are exceptionally good at digging up details that are overlooked previously. Don't under-estimate their tenacity as law students.

Many cases that get reversed or at least looked at by higher courts are based on 'constitutional' questions that the ACLU has raised......they get involved in 'cold cases' alot more than you may think.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: That hardly seems equitable
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 3:52 AM PST

Good things, all. Still, it hardly reaches to the level needed to provide for an equitable defense in a capitol trial.

Dan

Collapse -
Re: also Prosecutors
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 3:02 AM PST
In reply to: also Prosecutors

I see no support for your statements of lawyer's career paths and salaries. Nor do I see any backing for your statement of financial support for defendants.

Dan

Collapse -
I didn't realize that
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 3:16 AM PST
In reply to: Re: also Prosecutors

you would want definitive proof with links for my statements.....I was commenting from personal experience with various court systems over the years and how they basically work behind the scenes regarding money. I'm sure each state would have variances that differ regarding the various departments that are involved, but basically they work the same.

After I'm finished doing my laundry, I'll try to locate some numbers on the net for you.....so you can see that I haven't made it up. We have a couple of attorneys floating around here in SE, and perhaps one of them can step up to the plate and explain how things work in their respective states. In case I'm mistaken.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: I didn't realize that
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 3:54 AM PST
In reply to: I didn't realize that

I don't believe that you're trying to mislead me. I've looked to find evidence of your viewpoint and have come up empty.

Dan

Collapse -
A google search on
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 4:20 AM PST

Ohio Public Defenders Code

came up with a link to this among others:

http://www.opd.ohio.gov/reimb/rm_recoupment.pdf

I didn't do a search on other states or Federal Public Defenders Code, assuming they will all have different 'rules' on their books.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: A google search on
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 4:42 AM PST
In reply to: A google search on

Thanks, but that was one of the issues I was already familiar with.

Dan

Collapse -
Re: To be or not to be?
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 17, 2004 2:26 AM PST
In reply to: To be or not to be?

Hi, Dan.

Yet in many jurisditcions you have to show "probable cause" go get a DNA test done on an old case...

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

Collapse -
Those are for cases
by TONI H / November 17, 2004 2:46 AM PST

that are very old and DNA testing wasn't available to them at that time, and if the evidence is still floating around after all this time. I believe that this is a right thing to do for old cases because I believe that more innocent people were actually convicted incorrectly prior to new forensic science being available today based on circumstantial evidence or bad/mistaken 'eyewitness' testimony.

TONI

Collapse -
Re: Those are for cases
by Dan McC / November 17, 2004 3:11 AM PST
In reply to: Those are for cases

Still, in many cases prosecutors put up tremendous roadblocks to DNA challenges.

Dan

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

FALL TV PREMIERES

Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!