I'm almost done watching Making of A Murderer. I don't know how it ends yet, but it's not much of a spoiler to say that it opens with a story about a guy, Steven Avery, who was wrongly accused of rape and served eighteen years for it.
The evidence was only a shade more substantial than non-existent, but even his appeals and hearings for probation yielded nothing. Everyone thought he did it, so he lost eighteen years.
Later in the show there's question of police planting evidence for a different case.
I went to court as a spectator some months ago. I was there for just half of the day in the middle of the case, so my knowledge of the case was quite poor. But from that glimpse it appeared to me that he was guilty of robbery. The police found the evidence on him-- case closed.
Later I spoke with the defense attorney and asked her about it. They planted the evidence, she said. I balked and said that surely that wasn't true. Things like that happen in shows like The Shield, not in real life. She was equally surprised that I believed that.
It happens all the time, she said.
A cop is sure someone is guilty, but isn't sure that the evidence supports it. So he creates a bit of evidence or shifts things around or exaggerates, and then the guilty guy goes to jail. Great strategy if they guy is actually guilty, but the point is that the cop doesn't actually know for sure. If he did we wouldn't need judges or jurors.
Miscarriages of justice happen. Innocent people go to jail. Murderers go free. I have no idea how often these things happen, but my guess is that the actual number would horrify us. I tried to get the defense attorney to estimate a number of cases where the jury gets it wrong and she was too uncomfortable to do so. The number was high.
I wish I had a tip to help you make sure you're not wrongfully accused of something, but there isn't one. That's the point.
It makes me think of my own internal judge and jury. How often do I get it wrong? How often am I so sure of something that I would plant evidence, figuratively speaking? For me it's a reminder that I am wrong sometimes, even when I am sure that I'm not. Being wrong and being sure you're right is being wrong twice. It's better to be wrong once and learn from it.
Photo is an owl from an owl cafe in Japan.
If you have the chance to see the play Constellations in Las Vegas, definitely go. Friends and I went on a lark last night and thought it was incredible.
And don't forget about IGNORING or destroying/losing evidence that will exonerate the accused. That is part of it too.
"Things like that happen in shows like The Shield, not in real life."
Tynan, CLEARLY you do not watch television. The airwaves are REPLETE with shows about real-life lwrongfully convicted people and corrupt or inept cops.
Well, our criminal justice system is criminal anyways. Have a read of The Watch, Radley had been covering this for years, and his book is excellent https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/ . For some specific nightmares, have a look around for the ongoing Orange County DA/sheriff scandal, here is an article with some links: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/police-doctored-report-prosecutor-lied-in-wild-attempted-murder-case-near-disneyland-6781648
When you judge yourself, it can be torturous affair. For example, you can't be at 2 places at the same time. If you have a professional career and want to be a highly respected member of a particular profession, then it takes 100% dedication. You will need to work long hours and weekends at the office place or various locations. If you also desire to be considered an outstanding parent that is always there for your children, and you typically miss a lot of their activities due to your professional activities, then you struggle with yourself. I even think about our service members that are deployed for years and miss out on all their children's informative years. They return to find their children grown up and used to them not being involved in their daily activities, therefore the bond is broken.
[sett feature: apparently you can't edit your post (should be a 'didn't' in line 6) and you can't reply to your own post.]
In 2004 I was falsely accused of an attempted kidnapping, spent 3 weeks in jail, got tortured there, had a nervous breakdown (my second, i have issues with depression that come up when i'm under high stress.)
spent all my money on a lawyer, victim admitted it never happened, case dropped a year later day of trial. it's relatively easy to prove you didnt kidnap someone, very difficult to prove you attempt to kidnap someone. since then i havent been able to hold a job so i support myself doing medical studies and wasting time on the internet. i'm at a medical study now. i owe you a longer post on why "I used to have goals", but this is part of the backstory to that situation.
anyway, recently with spirit airlines i've had a window into your jet-setting lifestyle, starting to build up some frequent flyer miles and for certain routes can fly cheaper than megabus. this year i turn too old for most of the studies i've been doing so may need to go back to work, not something i'm exactly looking forward to. and there were signs the depression was coming back so i moved away from that problem, to a different building,and i may or may not be able to head off another round. i'm doing stuff like signing up for obamacare, that i dont particularly belive in, but i'm trying to take care of myself. as best i can right now.
The Supreme Court yesterday took a case about whether when cops fake evidence, is it a 4th Amendment violation. Manuel v. Joliet, Ill.: Whether an individual who claims to have been a victim of police fabrication of evidence has a right to sue for discriminatory prosecution under the Fourth Amendment — an issue left open previously by the Court.
I used to have a bit of an obsession with Zero Halliburton luggage. Look familiar? That's because bad guys in all the movies use the briefcases to hold their money and bombs. Over the years I kept buying these things, and usually traveled with a huge 26" suitcase as well as a matching computer case.
I still really like my Zero Halliburton suitcases, but they're somewhat unweildy. Two day trips don't require a hectare of packing real estate.
Plus, there was the allure of the carry-on only passenger. I never really understood how it worked before. How do people carry everything in such small suitcases? Is it really that much more convenient? What's so bad about checking bags? I was curious.
I just spent 3 days as a juror - one day for the jury selection process, and two days as a juror on a criminal case - a "possession with intent to distribute" drug trial.
Now that the case is over, and I can talk about it, I have a number of thoughts. I learned more about ZipLock baggies, crack cocaine, the business behind buying and selling drugs, and society in general than I ever wanted to know.
I want to share some thoughts as a first-time juror, because I had so many thoughts while I was in the jury box, and I thought the perspective might prove useful for any budding prosecutors, defense attorneys, and anyone else involved in the legal system who cares to listen to someone seeing it from the outside.
First, full disclosure: 1) The judge said we could talk about the case, even its specifics, once it was over, so I am. 2) Any thoughts I share here are my opinion alone. I did not talk to any other jurors during the case.
I had limitless time while in the jury box to form plenty of opinions, and an interesting aside is that i used the peg memory system to remember them all, as we weren't able to take our notes out of the courtroom. I highly recommend learning the peg system for the next time you're in the jury box :) or you just have to remember a grocery shopping list.
I just spent 3 days as a juror - one day for the jury selection process, and two days as a juror on a criminal case - a "possession with intent to distribute" drug trial. Now that the case is over, and I can talk about it, I have a number of thoughts. I learned more about ZipLock baggies, crack cocaine, the business behind buying and selling drugs, and society in general than I ever wanted to know. I want to share some thoughts as a first-time juror, because I had so many thoughts while I was in the jury box, and I thought the perspective might prove useful for any budding prosecutors, defense attorneys, and anyone else involved in the legal system who cares to listen to someone seeing it from the outside. First, full disclosure: 1) The judge said we could talk about the case, even its specifics, once it was over, so I am. 2) Any thoughts I share here are my opinion alone. I did not talk to any other jurors during the case. I had limitless time while in the jury box to form plenty of opinions, and an interesting aside is that i used the peg memory system to remember them all, as we weren't able to take our notes out of the courtroom. I highly recommend learning the peg system for the next time you're in the jury box :) or you just have to remember a grocery shopping list. One thing that astounded me was the cost of this one trial alone. Between the judge, 2 bailiffs, 14 jurors, prosecutor, defense attorney, 5 police witnesses, DEA specialist, expert witness, defense witnesses, and court administrator, I figure this three day trial conservatively cost US taxpayers $20,000, and probably more. And those are just the direct costs - not including lost productivity of anyone involved (ahem, one juror in particular found this especially painful - startups and jury duty don't mix very well). And thousands of trials like this happen every day. The economic costs alone are enough to make me re-think the supposed "war on drugs" that has been dragging on for 20+ years now. Any war that takes 20 years and isn't making a dent in the problem is the wrong approach. I'm not going to go so far as to necessarily advocate for the legalization of drugs, but what we're doing just isn't working, and there must be a better way. A more relaxed attitude like some other countries have is worth exploring; if nothing else, let's just look at the facts and not cloud the matter with deep-set opinions. One especially interesting story is the one about Mexico recently legalizing certain amounts of drugs. I just have to think that if a country with a problem much worse than ours turns to drug legalization to stem the problem, we may want to consider learning from other's mistakes and at least carefully examining what they've done and how successful it's been. Well, enough about that - I don't usually venture this far away from technology & entrepreneurism topics, but as I mentioned, this trial has really given me a new perspective on many things. OK on to the trial specifically. My first reaction, immediately upon being selected as a juror, was to be infuriated with the defendant for getting himself, and therefore me, into this situation. My strong reaction surprised me, and I think it's something that a defense attorney should really capitalize on. This specific defense attorney did not capitalize on much, in fact he was terrible, which is something I'll get to later on. But a good defense attorney might use a line like this to the jury: "I know you don't want to be here. Imagine how my client feels - he could have just pled guilty and avoided all of this stress, but then he would have been wrongly sentenced for something he did not do." Etc. Another thing neither the prosecution nor the defense did very well was explain the process to us. The judge did a bit, but more detail would have been appreciated, and it would have allowed me to empathize with one of the two counsels more if one of them had taken the time to explain the process to me. There's an additional reason that it's especially important: Since the prosecution makes their arguments first, and the defense second, for the first half of the trial the defendant is basically getting pummeled by the witnesses. And if you don't know what's going on (and I really didn't, aside from watching Law & Order I've never seen this process up-close before) you really think that the defendant has to be guilty. I mean, the evidence is overwhelming! I think a smart defense attorney would begin his or her opening argument with something like this: [attorney places a nickel on the jury box, in front of the jury] "Let me give you an analogy of what's going to happen over the next few days. The attorney is going to describe this nickel to you. He's going to talk about how it's round, and it's flat, and it has a head on it. He's going to go into a lot of deal telling you about what that head looks like. Well guess what ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this nickel in fact has a tail as well [flips nickel over]. And I'm not going to get the chance to tell you about the tail until later in the trial. But I want you not to forget that there is more than just a head to this nickel, there's a tail too, and the fact is that no matter how much detail the prosecution goes into describing the head of that nickel, it's not the whole story." So at the end of the day, we ended up finding the defendant guilty on all 3 charges of drug possession. It wasn't an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do. Hope this feedback helps anyone out there thinking about the legal profession.