TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Internet and Civil Liberties?

Re: Internet and Civil Liberties?

Henry (
Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:31:06 +0200

> William Warren wrote:

>> Innocent people accused of crimes have the same protections they have
>> always had -- the truth -- and the truth is that we all do very
>> predictable things at very predictable times, in full view of dozens, if
>> not hundreds, of witnesses. Innocent people seldom have trouble proving
>> that they are what they seem.

I have a bridge I will sell you, cheap. It is magic; it leads somewhere
over the rainbow, where you'll have pie in the sky.> wrote:

> I'm glad that you have never been in trouble or ever accused of doing
> something wrong. But the real world is not so perfect or nice.
> Through DNA testing we have learned that some criminals who proclaimed
> innocence were indeed guilty. But we also learned that some weren't
> guilty and spent years in prison for crimes they clearly did not
> commit. The system is not perfect.

There are two kinds of people: those who believe that the police would
never _dream_ of 'planting' evidence, lying on the witness stand or
otherwise 'framing' a suspect, and those who believe that it happens all
the time.



[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: We know, of course, that it happens all
the time; what is interesting is that now and then it slips out into
the daily media, which normally serves as cheerleaders for police. One
instance I will _not_ forget for a long time, if ever, occurred to be
back in the middle 1980's: The apartment where I was living had been
burglarized (this was in Chicago, naturally) and although I did not
see the persons, police had a couple young black guys they had
arrested for it. It got to court, we were in the little anteroom where
police/prosecutors/victims sit to discuss their case before the trial.

Police were quite persistent: _you did see these two guys carrying
stuff from your apartment, right_? I told the cops I did not see
it. The prosecutor cleared his throat and said to the police, "uh,
tell Mr. Townson how things like this work out in those cases; I will
be back in a few minutes." Whereupon the prosecutor _left the room_.
The cop looks at me and says, and I quote (I could not forget this
even if I wanted to) "when we go in there for trial in a few minutes,
if you tell the judge what you just now told the prosecutor and
myself -- that you did not see those NIGGERS (my emphasis) with your
stuff, then the judge is going to cut them loose; let them walk. On
the other hand, if you tell the judge you saw them carrying your
computer then the judge will send them away for a couple years. Wouldn't
it be better to have NIGGERS all off the street and locked up in jail?
You think about that, Mr. Townson."

Frankly I was a little shocked, but as I think about it now, I do not
know why I should have been. There was nothing new or unusual about a
police officer being racist and making up lies. The police officer
made a sort of motion with his hand, and almost immediatly the
prosecutor came back in the room. He was obviously not going to be put
in the position of having heard such a statement be made and risk some
legal action against himself (as prosecutor) which is why he was
absent when the damning lie against those two guys was extended by the
police officer. I told them both to count me out of the deal; getting
couple of (in this instance, at least) innocent guys sent to prison as
revenge for the burglary of my house was not worth it to me. The cop
and prosecutor gave me a total cold shoulder for the rest of the court
session. PAT]

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